I had heard good things about The Station Agent, so when I saw it was playing in the same theater as LES TRIPLETTES DE BELLEVILLE, I decided to make it a double header. (When you have no life, you can do that.) Well, I wasn’t too crazy about the latter, but The Station Agent was a nice little flick.
Some people wouldn’t like Agent because it’s one of those quirky little independent movies with no real plot to speak of. I mean, it has a semblance of a plot, but it’s more a slice of life flick. Peter Dinklage plays a man who inherits a small train station depot thingy and moves in. The “neighborhood” ice cream truck / “café con leche” truck driver, played by Bobby Cannavale, befriends him, even though Dinklage’s character, Fin, is initially very antisocial and reclusive. Patricia Clarkson is an artist who buys coffee from Cannavale daily, and so is brought into the mix as well. Actually, her intro into the film is very funny.
These three actors really have a great chemistry, something that’s vital for a flick with basically no action. Dinklage, a “small person” (I think it’s actually more politically correct to call him a dwarf than a midget, but I THINK “little person” is the safest route for me. I’m not trying to be humorous, and I don’t want to offend anyone!). The fact that he is little is a huge part of the movie, and I think Dinklage does a great job. I’ve seen him before, most notably in ELF.
Bobby Cannavale is another actor I’ve seen before, and he too does a great job.
He can be very funny at times, but he comes across as the real deal. I mean, I’m very American by nature, but I’m of Cuban descent and have been around Cubans all my life. (Hello, this is Miami!!!) The film is set in New Jersey, but Cannavale plays a Cuban in the flick (he’s half Cuban in real life) and his laid back wackiness is very familiar to me. He really does a great job here. I think he should be a bigger name soon.
Patricia Clarkson is someone I’ve admired for a long time. She’s quite ubiquitous, appearing on both the big and small screens often. She’s a great actress, and I’ve always found her very attractive, what with her pale complexion and reddish hair. At one point in the flick, Cannavale refers to her as “sexy, in an older woman kind of way”. Well, I’m 35, so at about 45, she’s not really an “older” woman, but I knew exactly what he meant when he said it!
Here she does a great job, and her character is probably the most fleshed out of the three main ones. Dinklage’s Fin is the main character, but the flick is at it’s best when all three are on screen.
Also in the movie is Michelle Williams, formerly of Dawson’s Creek. Katie Holmes has become a bigger name, but I’m thinking maybe Ms Williams is the better actress. I dunno. But she too does a nice job here.
The Station Agent is written and directed by Thomas McCarthy. I didn’t know him by name, but I remember him as an actor in a lot of TV shows, like Boston Public, and in movies like Meet The Parents. He wrote a nice little movie here, and his direction was solid. It’s interesting how a lot of actors find more success behind the camera than in front of it. I hope McCarthy does another movie soon. Maybe a little tighter, with a little more story, but yeah, he may be on to something. Enjoy…