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With: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Michelle Williams, Raven Goodwin
Written by: Thomas McCarthy
Directed by: Thomas McCarthy
MPAA Rating: R for language and some drug content
Running Time: 88
Date: 01/26/2003

The Station Agent (2003)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Small Packages

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Fresh from the Mill Valley Film Festival, this crowd pleaser follows the adventures of a dwarf train nut, Finbar (Peter Dinklage), who inherits a dilapidated train station in upstate New York and moves there. Despite his distant, private personality, two of the locals -- a talky hot dog vendor (Bobby Cannavale) and a ditsy artist (Patricia Clarkson) -- quickly make friends with him. All three suffer from deep-rooted sadness that, thankfully, writer/director Thomas McCarthy never explains. Rather, he carefully and lovingly observes the action, the ways in which the characters fill their time and the ways in which they grow closer.

Raven Goodwin (the little girl from Lovely and Amazing) and Michelle Williams co-star in wonderful supporting roles that only add to the film's delicate atmosphere.

This is one of those "small" movies that plays just as well, if not better, at home than in the theater. Miramax's new DVD comes with a commentary track by McCarthy and all three lead actors and deleted scenes. It's presented in 1-to-1.85 widescreen with 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound. It comes with an optional French language track and optional French and Spanish subtitles.

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