Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Station Agent

The Station Agent is now one of my favorite films to just 'hang out' with. In fact the film features three characters that pretty much just hang-out together over the course of the film.
Finbar works in a small store which sells model trains to hobbyists. When his boss dies of a heart attack, the store is liquidated and he is out of a job. He does inherit an un-used train-station on a small plot of land in rural New Jersey. Having nothing better to do, he makes the station his home and soon encounters two of the local inhabitants, Joe the energetic extrovert who minds the meal-truck which is squatting on his property, and Olivia (a beautifully pitched performance from indie queen Patricia Clarkson) , a local artist who is dangerous behind the wheel of an SUV.
All three are at highly specific point in their lives where they are taking a respite from their 'routines.' They form a fascinating trio as none of them have anything in common except that they get along at some unseen level.
Just to watch Finbar, Olivia and Joe fill their time more-or-less doing not so much is more satisfyingly escapist for me than any StarWars, Indiana Jones or Comic Book Franchise out there. The 90 minutes just breeze by. While the ending is perfect, if the movie were to continue for another 2 hours, I certainly would not have minded. The Station Agent leaves a warm fuzzy feeling with me after it is done every time. It is a great ode to friendship.

Aside: The Station Agent was released the same year as Lost in Translation and shares many of the 'disconnected-at-this-time-and-space' themes. I loved Sophia Coppola's film (it was my favorite film of last year). I didn't get a chance to see The Station Agent until mid-2004, and i find myself coming back to it again and again.


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