Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Peter Dinklage
Patricia Clarkson
Bobby Cannavale.
Directors
Thomas McCarthy.
Screenwriters
Thomas McCarthy.
Running Time
90 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Keeper Of Lost Causes, The
3 Star Empire Rating
If I Stay
2 Star Empire Rating
Let's Be Cops
3 Star Empire Rating
Obvious Child
4 Star Empire Rating
Million Dollar Arm
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

The Station Agent


submit to reddit


Plot
When his boss dies, diminutive model railway shop worker Fin McBride (Dinklage) inherits a disused railway depot in a sleepy provincial town. Although he tries to ignore friendly overtures from the curious local community, Fin finds himself slowly drawn into their odd, tragi-comic lives.


Review
When it debuted last year at Sundance — the world’s most right-on festival — we feared a politically correct study of the harsh plight of the vertically challenged in patriarchal America. But, almost magically, Tom McCarthy’s sometimes hilarious, touching film is no such thing.


Drawing on all the requisite elements of modern US indie cinema (dreams, suburbia, isolation, Patricia Clarkson), The Station Agent is a small but sprawling comedy of manners that ignores the temptations of cheap melodrama to take us off the map to a place seldom visited by its peers.


A place, it must be said, where nothing much happens. But, like the community Fin (Dinklage) finds when he moves into his new home, McCarthy’s film is alive with personality and intrigue.


Sharply written and beautifully realised, these are characters with depth and feeling — oddballs, certainly, but warm and credible. There’s Joe (Oramas), the nosy Cuban hot dog man who runs a fast-food stall in the middle of nowhere. There’s Emily (Williams), the pretty librarian in lumber with her deadbeat boyfriend. There’s Cleo (Raven Goodwin), the curious little schoolgirl who desperately wants Fin to help with her show-and-tell.


But most of all there’s Olivia (Clarkson), the artist who harbours a fascination for Fin from the day she almost runs him over. The closest thing this film has to a love interest, Clarkson gives her best here: tough but vulnerable, teetering on breakdown but somehow reined in by her own survival instinct and distracted by the strange, steely pull of the surly Fin. Though it never reaches the surface, this muted love affair is one of the film’s many charms, another avenue left tantalisingly mysterious.


It would be a tough job for any actor to command such a light and quixotic patchwork but, in the lead, Dinklage proves himself a subtle actor and gifted comedian. Indeed, the part was initially written for a normal-sized actor, and it’s a measure of his talent that McCarthy had to tweak the script so little to suit him. Eschewing sentiment and never scared of size jokes, Dinklage’s Fin McBride is a regal, rude and enigmatic presence, his cool only ruffled in a bittersweet scene in which his height makes him comically ineffective in a boy-girl fight.


Happily, this is more than just a showcase for a first-time writer-director or an acting workshop for his cast. It’s The Station Agent’s meditation on the smaller things in life that make it such a big deal.


Verdict
Ultimately this is a film about feelings, moments and things not said. Like Lost In Translation, it’s about what happens when people living in their own little worlds collide.


Reviewed by

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Station Agent
Empire Star Rating

Amazing!

This film is absolutely wonderful. So good that my wife made us sit through it again immediately after it finished! Then insisted we watch it again halfway through the following week!! It just makes you feel so good about life. The perfomances are uniformly superb. Peter Dinklage doesn't need to act, he can just look at the camera and you know exactly what he is feeling/thinking. Nothing really happens in nowhereville, but you are gripped and drawn into this little bland world so easily th... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by laughingChrisCS at 15:22, 11 February 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Station Agent, The

Fantastic movie. movie of the year at the time for me. Best midget movie since Time Bandits. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Wilbert at 17:16, 05 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Station Agent, The

I so loved this film; the scene with Fin recording the train as the burger van drives top speed beside it was so beautiful - excitement, joy and pathos all in one nugget! It was defintely a bit special, not for those who like blockbusters only though... ... More

Posted by Taizy at 13:25, 05 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: The Station Agent

This is a great film. The reason it has very few reader reviews is that it slipped so far under the radar its undercarriage was scraping the tarmac. A) it has no BIG name, B) it has no explosions, C) it has a plot, characterisations and silences. All big no no s for the popcorn fraternity. Alas, woe is our lot, just be glad it got made. It could so easily not have.  - If you liked the station agent maybe you should watch Pieces of April, it has Katie Holmes in it but dont let that put you ... More

Posted by shiny mouse at 22:45, 04 June 2006 | Report This Post


The Station Agent

L: maffew stunning...why there aren't more reader reviews here is beyond me touching, funny, clever and leaves you with a sense of incredible well being... sp; I just loved this movie.  I own the DVD.  I wish they would make more movies like this. p;   ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dja1231 at 05:14, 22 April 2006 | Report This Post


stunning...why there aren't more reader reviews here is beyond me.. touching, funny, clever and leaves you with a sense of incredible well being... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by maffew at 23:33, 20 April 2006 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Gamescom 2014: The 10 Most Exciting Games
Zombies! Guns! Tombs! Sheep! Watch the trailers right here...

Who Is Mack Bolan? Your Guide To Cinema's New Action Man
As Bradley Cooper lines up to star as the hero, here's your handy guide to his story so far

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)