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The Station Agent

3.9 out of 5 stars 2,118 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Winner of 2003 Sundance Film Festival awards (Best Drama, Audience Award; Best Screenplay, Tom McCarthy; Best Performance, Patricia Clarkson), THE STATION AGENT stars Emmy Award winner Patricia Clarkson (TV's SIX FEET UNDER, FAR FROM HEAVEN), Peter Dinklage (ELF), and Bobby Cannavale (TV's 24, THIRD WATCH) in a comedy about friendship that will have you smiling long after the final credits. Fin McBride (Dinklage), a loner with a passion for trains, inherits an abandoned train station in the middle of nowhere -- a place that suits him just fine because all he wants is to be alone. But that is not to be. Soon after moving in, he discovers his isolated depot is more like Grand Central Station. There's Olivia (Clarkson), a distracted and troubled artist, and Joe (Cannavale), a friendly Cuban with an insatiable hunger for conversation. With absolutely nothing in common, they find their isolated lives coming together in a friendship none of them could foresee.

Additional Features

Judging by the commentary track, it must have been fun on the set of this Sundance Film Festival winner. The three leads and filmmaker Tim McCarthy have a heck of a good time reminiscing about making the film on the DVD's commentary track. Too bad McCarthy could not get in more about how the story came to be, but you can forgive him since it's such an enjoyable listen. The deleted scenes include an alternate ending that introduces a new character. --Doug Thomas

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Paul Benjamin, Jase Blankfort
  • Directors: Tom McCarthy
  • Writers: Tom McCarthy
  • Producers: Joshua Zeman, Kathryn Tucker, Mary Jane Skalski, Richard Cohan, Robert May
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown), French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: June 15, 2004
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,118 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001WTWDI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,930 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Station Agent" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Not many films have a dwarf as the main character--especially one whose fascination is trains. Finnbar McBride, played by actor Peter Dinklage, is such a man and has immersed himself in trains as, we understand with the progression of this great film, a retreat from the world of normal humans who too often delight in ridiculing him for his stature.
If this were a film characterized by stereotype and lack of imagination and intelligence, Finn would emerge as the valiant hero, fighting the odds that Mother Nature dealt him. But, luckily, it is not. Filmmaker (writer-director) Thomas McCarthy is much too smart and sensitive to do something stupid like that. Finn is very quiet, but has his weaknesses, shown in a great scene at the local bar in tiny Newfoundland, New Jersey where Finn's been left an old train depot by his recently deceased former boss.
In the bar, he proceeds to get truly drunk and confronts the inner demon of his enormous frustration at his dwarfism by standing on the bar and taunting everyone else to look at him. He's a fully rounded person--he shuns human company but when it's foisted upon him--by garrulous young Joe, the hot dog vendor, and by Olivia, the klutzy but beautiful local artist--he does respond. He does laugh with his new friends, he does understand that others may have pain, maybe even deeper than his.
This is one of the year's best films because it dares to raise a true, deep, and honest voice amidst the glitzy schlock that Hollywood still cranks out to rake in the millions. This is a film that should not be missed for its depth of characterization and emotion, its courage, its honesty, sensitivity, and above all, its deep understanding of what being human really means.
Very highly recommended.
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Tom McCarthy's "The Station Agent" is the sort of movie that--if it even gets made in America--seldom makes it past the festival circuit to a wider audience. That "The Station Agent" did so is an unexpected and delightful surprise. This gentle, poignant film--which unfolds like a perfectly wrought short story--tells the tale of Fin (Peter Dinklage), a four-foot five-inch, thirtysomething guy who works in a model train store and has a lifelong fascination with trains. Used to the mockery of those around him, he lives devoid of human contact other than his sympathetic boss and a few fellow train enthusiasts. When his boss dies, he leaves Fin a decrepit train depot in a rural part of New Jersey; Fin, having no other place that will take him in, goes to the depot to live. There, almost against his will, he begins to establish contact with a few of the local residents, including two who in their own ways are as lonely as Fin: Joe (Bobby Cannavale), a convivial, motormouth hot dog vendor saddled with a chronically ill father, and Olivia (Patricia Clarkson), an eccentric artist grieving over the loss of her small son and her bitter estrangement from her husband. How Fin, Joe and Olivia slowly, clumsily discover their common bonds forms the main story of "The Station Agent." It's scarcely an earth-shattering story, and the low budget is always evident; yet "The Station Agent" never puts a foot wrong. The story and dialogue continually offer small, revealing surprises about the characters, and the performances of Dinklage, Clarkson and Cannavale are exquisitely natural and unaffected. "The Station Agent" is a movie most people will probably never hear of, but those who see it will cherish it.
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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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