Guess I already mentioned before that I rediscovered Peter Dinklage because of “Game of Thrones” and its omnipresence. It somewhat inflamed some kind of a crush on the guy and I carved for more material and after spending too many late night hours on YouTube, stumbled upon an interview where he mentioned “The Station Agent“.
Dinklage’s character Finbar ‘Fin’ McBride searches for solitude at an out-of-use train station in Newfoundland, New Jersey after his friend’s death. He plans on fixing up the station and follow his passion for trains by walking the tracks and watching trains pass by at several locations.
But just within a short amount of time he happens to find himself with two new friends on his hands, Olivia (Patricia Clarkson) and Joe (Bobby Cannavale), without really wanting to. Although quite different from each other, their paths cross one way or another for several times and eventually they warm up to each other.
This is greatly illustrated by the scenes where the three, or only Joe and Fin, follow train tracks, spend their day trainspotting or stop at an abandoned railroad bridge for a pick-nick.
“The Station Agent” is one of the most beautifully quiet and unagitated movies I’ve ever seen. It has this great atmosphere about it, which Thomas McCarthy or Bobby Cannavale said to be typical for New Jersey in the summer. But I guess it’s universal because I felt reminded of many summers in my little part of the world too. Time’s ticking slower, people dress more casually and spend more time outside to eat or sit with friends.
It’s funny how people see me and treat me, since I’m really just a simple, boring person. – Finbar McBride
There’s some kind of melancholia running through the whole story yet it gives an overall life-affirming notion. All the characters have their problems, which they eventually have to overcome, but aren’t completely resolved or answered during the movie. There’s not one answer to everything and I loved this, it felt so authentic, so real.
I know the feeling and many times wish I could just be okay with not getting being able to solve everything. And maybe that’s what one can get out of the movie, ‘Sometimes it’s enough to simply be around to make things better’.
The movie is a great example of how a good story and an enthusiastic team can do so much more than a lot of money. Somehow the thought occurred to me that maybe those limits very often enhance the quality of a movie instead of running it down.
And I actually felt the desire to write a movie of that kind myself. Unfortunately I seem not to be able to (I’ve tried), but I’d love to see or read a story like “The Station Agent” and therefore recommend it to everyone I meet in the faint hope that other (more creative) people might be inspired by it. Or just spend a beautiful one and a half hours. 🙂
And now even if you don’t give a damn about my insights and opinion just consider this: It’s a movie about trains, New Jersey and friendship – how can it not be good?