Writer: Jonathan Sullivan
Original Post-Date: 9/2/2009
The Station Agent is a 2003 independent film starring Peter Dinklage as Fin, a vertically challenged train-obsessed man who inherits an abandoned train depot in a small isolated New Jersey town. While moving in and attempting to fade away, he meets Olivia (Patricia Clarkson), a zany divorcee, Joe (Bobby Cannavale) a chatty coffee truck worker, and a sexy librarian named Emily (Michelle Williams). Fin, who is so used to being made fun for his height, begins to finally connect with people and break down the walls he has had to put up after years of being made fun of.

Dwarves do not get any respect in the film business. They usually play evil lepracauns, robots, or some form of comedy fodder. Peter Dinklage has changed that. He brings legitimacy to the diminutive actors and actresses of the world with his role as Fin. He plays him with equal parts aloofness and fear, and a general uncaringness about the world around him. He uses trains as an outlet and hides amongst it to avoid contact with the real world. Dinklage absolutely KILLS this role and shows that if you cast a small statured person in a real role, they can do wonders with it. Of course, Fin is supposed to be a dwarf in the movie, but it isn't played up for laughs. It's played up as a mountain that he has had to climb since birth, and it's actually kind of chilling to see just how detached he is that insults have stopped affecting him.

The supporting cast is brilliant too, especially Bobby Cannavale. His role as Joe is the comedic relief in the picture. Joe is lonely and stuck out in a small town, desperate to make friends with anyone and he latches onto Fin, who leaves right near his stand. He is good natured and has good intentions, and gives the film neccessary comedic moments to lighten the movie up. Patricia Clarkson's character Olivia is the most emotionally scarred of the three, having suffered through a divorce and a loss her of young son. She is also very klutzy and zany and almost runs over Fin (twice!) the first day they meet. Michelle Williams plays Emily as sweet and cute, but stuck in a small town with a dick of a boyfriend. Fin and Emily, however, begin to connect emotionally and romantically, even though Fin would rather have Olivia.

This isn't a comedy by any stretch. It's a drama about life and friendship, about love and loss, and about trying to connect in a world that has shunned you all your life. I urge everyone to watch this movie, as it is worth every penny you spend buying/renting it. Give it an opportunity and you will not be disappointed.

And just because I skirted the word for the whole article...midget. There I said it.

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