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Customer Review

78 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of Humanity, February 26, 2004
I do not damn with faint praise when calling this a "small" film, nor when doing so is any offense intended to Peter Dinklage who plays the role of Finbar McBride, the central character. After the death of his employer and friend who owns a store offering model railroads and various accessories, McBride learns that he has inherited from him an abandoned train station and sets out on foot to begin a new life there. Only four-foot tall, by now he has endured all of the hurtful jokes and taunts about dwarfs, "Munchkins," etc. He seeks solitude in what seems to be an eminently appropriate residence, given his passion for railroading in all shapes and sizes. McBride arrives and establishes residence, determined to have minimal contact with others who live in the town nearby. Unexpectedly and at first reluctantly, he becomes friends with Joe Oramas (Bobby Cannavale) and then Olivia Harris (Patricia Clarkson), both of whom sense within McBride a stature belied by his diminutive body. This is a "small" film in the sense that under Thomas McCarthy's brilliant direction, it is fully developed within quite limited parameters. (I am reminded of the fact that the greatest athletes "play within themselves.") I can think of nothing to delete from this film, nor of anything to add. Also, to their credit, McCarthy and his cast resist every opportunity to sentimentalize (thereby trivialize) any of the lead characters' weaknesses as well as strengths. Finbar, Olivia, and Joe struggle (with mixed success) in their relationships with each other. Their behavior is not always admirable. But separately and together, they celebrate the nature of humanity, whatever the shape and form of it may prove to be.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Robert Morris
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: Dallas, Texas

Top Reviewer Ranking: 159