The Station Agent | Chicago Reader

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Fin, the protagonist of writer-director Tom McCarthy's feature debut, is a timid dwarf obsessed with trains (Peter Dinklage in an impressive, controlled performance) who moves from Hoboken to a remote part of New Jersey, where he has inherited an abandoned rail depot. Despite his shyness, Fin is drawn into friendships with two other outsiders, a talkative hot dog vendor (Bobby Cannavale) and a painter (Patricia Clarkson) estranged from her husband since the death of their child. McCarthy occasionally compromises his spare style with corny, would-be showstopping moments, and the score by Stephen Trask is intrusively quirky. Still, the rural setting and the loners-banding-together theme are affecting and the supporting players—especially Michelle Williams and Raven Goodwin as two more outcasts—are all superb. R, 90 min.

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