Simple, leisurely and phenomenal, 2003's THE STATION AGENT is one of my all time favorite independent films.
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) is Fin, a young man with dwarfism, living a very quiet life as a clerk in an upstate New York model train store. He lives above the store in a tiny room, reading and solitary.
When the owner, his only friend, dies suddenly, he's willed an old train station and the 25 acres around it in the middle of nowhere.
With nowhere to stay, he departs for the train station and makes it his home, where he almost immediately meets the quirky people in the small town nearby.
He doesn't have to go anywhere to meet Joe, who runs the coffee truck parked right outside his station. Joe (Bobby Cannavale, excellent) is outgoing, talks a mile a minute and desperately wants to converse with Fin. Joe says more words every hour than Fin's said in the past year.
Local artist Olivia (the superb Patricia Clarkson) comes by the coffee truck everyday.
After damn near running Fin over twice during his walks to the local convenience store, she reaches out with a sincere apology.
The film quietly weaves these lives together in a great screenplay by Writer/Director Tom McCarthy, who went on to win an Oscar for writing "Spotlight".
Other than the too coincidental near hit and runs by Olivia, every moment of the film feels authentic. The dialogue is perfect in the happiest and the saddest moments.
Like most people, there is a lot going on behind these people's exteriors.
Dinklage is a superb actor as any fan of his performance as Tyrian in GOT can attest. He's younger, sadder and more reclusive here, but no less powerful.
Unless you count quiet talks on the porch, long walks over railroad tracks and simple conversation, not much really happens.
But I loved every minute of its structure and enjoyed watching the interactions of these very different, all uniquely troubled people.
THE STATION AGENT remains a fave after many viewings over the past 15+ years and gets an A.