The Station Agent (2003)

“It’s funny how people see me and treat me, since I’m really just a simple, boring person.” Best known as “Tyrion Lannister” in the critically acclaimed HBO series Game of Thrones (he also turned in a great performance as “Miles Finch” in the 2003 comedy Elf), Peter Dinklage is superb as “Finbar McBride,” a reclusive dwarf and train aficionado who inherits an abandoned train depot in the middle of nowhere (Newfoundland, New Jersey, to be exact). Before you know it, Fin has reluctantly befriended two lonely neighbors, “Joe” (Bobby Cannavale), a Cuban-American hot-dog vendor and nonstop talker, and “Olivia” (Patricia Clarkson), a middle-aged artist trying to cope with the break-up of her marriage. Slowly but surely these three “outcasts” form a strong bond of friendship. The excellent cast includes Raven Goodwin as “Cleo,” Michelle Williams as “Emily” and Paul Benjamin as “Henry Styles.” A low-key character study with outstanding performances, The Station Agent was written and directed by Thomas McCarthy. Highly recommended! McCarthy, who portrayed “Dr. Bob” in Meet the Parents (2000), won the 2003 Independent Spirit Award for “Best First Screenplay,” as well as the “Audience Award” and “Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award” at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.

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