In the context of 2015, the 2003 indie dramedy The Station Agent is thought of first and foremost as the film that introduced the world—or at least the film-festival and arthouse circuits—to the man who would become Tyrion Lannister on HBO’s behemoth Game Of Thrones. But while Peter Dinklage’s breakout starring role as Fin McBride, a train-obsessed dwarf living as an outcast in Hoboken, is certainly the most obvious thing to recommend about actor-turned-director Thomas McCarthy’s feature debut, there’s more to the film than that single performance. The Station Agent is a performer’s showcase, one that established McCarthy’s skill with directing actors, which would extend through his follow-ups The Visitor and Win Win, before coming to a crashing halt with last year’s Adam Sandler-starring The Cobbler. In addition to Dinklage—who does indeed give a masterful, oft-overlooked performance, showcasing the blend of sadness and acerbic humor that would go on to inform his Emmy-winning television role—Patricia Clarkson and a fresh-faced Bobby Cannavale do wonderful, captivating work in the film as well, the former as a recently separated, depressed local artist who takes a shine to Fin, and the latter as a gregarious food-stand proprietor who forcibly draws Fin out of his shell. The Station Agent is ultimately a little too anemic—in terms of both story and visuals—to be a considered a great film, but it does feature some legitimately great performances. See for yourself when it airs tonight on TMC at 8:30 p.m Eastern.
April 30, 2015 Cable Pick Of The Day