The Station Agent

The Station Agent is a 2003 American independent film about a man who moves to live in an abandoned train station in rural Newfoundland, New Jersey to live a life of solitude. It was written and directed by Thomas McCarthy, who won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.


Finbar "Fin" McBride (Peter Dinklage) is a handsome 30-ish single guy with achondroplasic dwarfism. The beginning of the film demonstrates the reason why Fin is so withdrawn, as the people around him treat him poorly and he consequently feels increasingly ostracized. He becomes bitter and isolative. He works at a model train hobby shop owned by a similarly silent friend Henry (Paul Benjamin). Henry dies unexpectedly and his will leaves Fin a bit of property with a former railroad station agent's living quarters on it. Fin sets off to find the place by walking down the railroad tracks, as he doesn't drive. He moves into the old building hoping for a life of solitude.

He finds himself reluctantly becoming enmeshed in the lives of his neighbors, especially Olivia (Patricia Clarkson), a forty-year-old artist who has troubles with her broken marriage and is coping with the death of her young son, and eagerly friendly Joe (Bobby Cannavale) a thirty-year-old Cuban American who is working in his dad's snack truck for the summer.


Reviews for the film were positive and it grossed more than $5,000,000. The film won awards at several film festivals and several year end awards. Among these were:


Actor Role
Peter Dinklage Finbar McBride
Bobby Cannavale Joe Oramas
Patricia Clarkson Olivia Harris
Michelle Williams Emily
Paul Benjamin Henry Styles
Raven Goodwin Cleo
Paula Garces Cashier
Josh Pais Carl
John Slattery David
Jayce Bartok Chris
Lynn Cohen Patty (Good to Go store)

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