HTL MotWC - June 4 - The Station Agent

Discussion in 'Movie Lounge' started by CJ, May 30, 2007.

  1. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

  2. Alfer

    Alfer New Member

    For those who may not have ever heard of this a cliff notes version of the story:

  3. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Nice choice of film; I saw it some time ago but I'll try and re-watch it in time for the discussion.
  4. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Active Member

    Great choice, Tyson - a beautifully written and acted character study.
  5. Tom R S 4

    Tom R S 4 New Member War Zone Member

    I'm not familiar with it at all, but it appears to have gotten good reviews. I'll take a chance on this one and pick it up.
  6. E Jones

    E Jones Active Member

    This is one of those I never got around to it flicks. Looking forward to it now.

  7. Tyson

    Tyson New Member

    Alfer posted a good, short synopsis so I don't think I'll go any further as far as the actual story.

    What to expect?

    A good natured movie. It is emotional and sad at times, and really funny and poignant at other times. It is pretty much an indie flick with a decent budget, yet I think it manages well as far as crossing over to a more mainstream type of audience. I think HTL will be a good proving ground for that, since there are plenty of the more mainstream type of film fans here, along with close to the same amount of indie, foreign, and for lack of a better word, arthouse type of film fans here. I tend to put myself right in the middle, enjoying all of the above equally, depending on my mood.

    A few of the things that standout for me:

    The acting jobs of the three leads are very good, but especially by the actor playing the dwarf, Finbar.

    Another thing I like: I wish I could write a movie like this. I love this screenplay.

    Also I really liked the way in which the movie never tries to bounce you over the head with an idea. It takes its time from beginning to end and is never boring.

    The final icing on the cake for me is the train aspect. If you are a train nut in any way or you like trains quite a bit, you might enjoy it that much more.

    I hope everybody here enjoys it. I might just splurge and pick this one up on the way home tomorrow.

  8. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Active Member War Zone Member

    Ordered this and Pan's together. Thanks CJ.

  9. Ken McDaniel

    Ken McDaniel Active Member War Zone Member

    Saw this one way back. Great little film.
  10. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I watched this again over the weeked. It is a quiet little film, and very rewarding.

    Loved the music by Stephen "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" Trask.

    - Steve
  11. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    I just deleted all the sludge about the amazon links working or not working etc. So post away....


    I watched this a week or so ago in preparation for this thread, and then never commented. I thought this was a pretty solid if not totally fleshed out film. There were some good connecting moments but I think it could have been a little more. I still really liked it but I thought some things were glossed over. Actually now I'm wondering if it wasn't just an absence of being hit over the head with everything. I was thinking about him going to present to the class and getting the questions he expected about his height and how it didn't go into more, and was there any "fallout" from him freaking out in the bar, etc. And then there was the train. Was that a suicide attempt or was there really even a train at all and he just imagined (perhaps wished) it and then passed out on the tracks? I have thoughts supporting both arguments.
  12. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Active Member

    Having seen The Station Agent a number of times, I decided to watch it with the commentary for this discussion. The Commentary track includes Director Thomas McCarthy, and actors Peter Dinklige, Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale. It's funny and enjoyable, but not particularly illuminating as far as the story. McCarthy doesn't really explain the what and why of Fin's lying on the tracks, other than saying the most asked questions were "So the train went over him? Did he survive because he was small?" Unlikely as it seemed, I viewed it as a real happening (his watch was crushed because it was on the rail.) It looked to me that he just lied down because he was wasted, but when he saw the train lights he welcomed it.

    I felt the movie was about isolation - self-imposed by Fin due to his dwarfism and the cruelty of people, and by Olivia due to the death of her child and dissolution of her marriage. The gregarious Joe, on the other hand wants anything but isolation, but has it thrust on him due to his father's illness and his having to man the lunch wagon. These three people, so very different in personality and circumstances somehow reach out to each other and after fits and starts make a connection. It's a wonderful mixture of humor, frustration, rage and reconcilliation. The acting couldn't have been better.

    With so many films, when the end credits come up, the characters vanish in a puff of smoke. With The Station Agent, I felt they remained and their lives went on.
  13. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    See, not to argue but the watch wasn't crushed by the train. Have you ever laid a penny on a train track? The watch clearly fell and broke but it wasn't on the rail when a train went by. I do agree that the train probably was real. I'll have to ask my wife if you could lay on the ties and have a train pass over you or not. I don't know what the clearance is.
  14. Saurav

    Saurav Active Member War Zone Member

    Watched this last night and enjoyed it. I think it's hard to do a good movie that's just a character study with no real 'plot'... or maybe I just have a low tolerance threshold, because so many of those movies just seem boring to me, and lacking continuity. But this one was very well done, kept me interested in the characters all the way through, and it was neat that they didn't try to throw a 'big event' in at the ending.
  15. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    I anyone wants to see Patricia Clarkson at her finest, buy or rent High Art.
  16. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I totally forgot she was in The Untouchables (1987) -- her first movie role!

    - Steve
  17. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    BTW, I not only talked to my wife about this issue but watched a train cross yesterday and not that I'd recommend it but there is PLENTY of room for a train to pass over someone laying down on the ties between the tracks.
  18. Sean80

    Sean80 New Member

    Watched this today for the first time and I really enjoyed it. I thought everyone gave a great performance and it was really well written. It was a great choice and I'm glad I finally got a chance to see it.
  19. Shane

    Shane Active Member

    I watched this last night. Everything but the plot really stood out to me as great. The plot really after watching it seemed like it was non-existent however after reading what Mike Kelly posted it's sinking in.

    I do think the whole plot was revolving around isolationism and the effects of that. Given how the dwarf was treated, it's likely he really didn't want the friends he met but he ended up forming 2 friendships that will never let go.

    I give this a solid 9 out of 10.
  20. Chris Smith

    Chris Smith Well-Known Member

    I know I'm a little late to the weekly discussion, but my wife and I just got around to seeing this tonight.

    I REALLY enjoyed it, thought the acting was stellar. Loved Mike Kelly's review, pretty much sums what I got out of the movie perfectly as well. I really loved how Fin came out of his shell throughout the movie, sometimes even to his detriment, but becoming, I think, a better person for it.

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