The Station Agent

Cover Art and Menu: 7/10
To be honest, this cover is fine and the menus are just right. Nothing fancy, nothing too boring. I was so curious about this movie,  having absolutely no idea what it was about, that I breezed by the box and went straight for the main attraction. A movie this good could come in a plain white wrapper as far as I’m concerned.

Extras & Features: 3/10
What extras? There are a few deleted scenes and a directors commentary and that’s it. They are interesting but nothing that would have changed the final cut of the film. As for other extras…it’s a sad day when one of the best films in ages has nothing more to offer on the DVD. This is one of those rare times when the lack of extras will not influence the overall score of this DVD. Not because I don’t think they shouldn’t have added a whole lot more, but because some movies stand on their own. I can wait for a special edition to come along someday with loads of extras, in the meantime I’ll be happy with this plain disk…cough cough…did I just say that?

The Movie: 9/10:
The Station Agent is one of the best films I have seen in a long time. It’s a story about people with stories. Don’t let that scare you away. It’s not about them having a little conflict to resolve and each of them doing it in their own special way while meaningful music plays in the background and it’s all tied up neatly in the end…awe.

People with stories who don’t want to live their stories anymore. Two men and a woman become fast friends as their paths cross at just the right time.

Fin, a walking train encyclopedia inherits a small piece of land with an even smaller train depot sitting on it. He moves in to discover Joe, the talker who runs the hot dog stand parked only yards away. Or maybe Joe discovers Fin. Joe is a young, handsome, very outgoing Italian guy with no time for being alone or keeping himself to himself, especially when a dwarf suddenly moves into the neighborhood. Yes, dwarf. A man of smaller stature, Fin, has his own self contained personality as we watch him refuse to react to the cruelty of the world around him. There is nothing contained about Joe. They become two people who spend, or should I say, make time pass together.

Olivia comes into the picture when she almost runs Fin off the road, twice. She’s a woman who’s lost her young son only two years before and from the looks of things, she hasn’t fully recovered from the grief. These three settle into a friendship, the depth of which is measured in one scene when Fin, the dwarf, explains how angry he was when he was younger. Olivia honestly, and without hesitation asks why. Fin has a moment of uncomfortable awareness when he realizes she sees past his size, past whatever angst he might have felt in his life, as he explains humbly because of being small.

The whole movie isn’t about three people just accepting each other for who they are, although that’s the heart of it. It’s a slice of life that shows the bonds people can forge at the least convienient, least expected times, but without being sentimental and sappy.

Everyone is fantastic in this film. There is not one person who didn’t make each scene amazing. Well, there was the hick losers who harass Fin, but they are always boring and dull no matter who plays that kind of character.

The music isn’t too mushy or emotionally blackmailing. It is appropriate and keeps the tone of the movie exactly right. Much like Garden State, you get the feeling that the music is as much a character as the people in the story. I love it when the director can pull that off just right.

I look forward to watching this one again and again. I will recommend it to as many people as I can. It’s definitely one to watch, rent, buy, however you can get it into your head.

Value: 9/10
Doesn’t matter how much it costs. If you want it buy it. If you want to try it out, rent it THEN buy it! 🙂 Actually it’s only around 14 bucks, so just buy it already!

Overall Score 9/10