Thursday, July 13, 2006
THE STATION AGENT
THE STATION AGENT (2003, USA, Thomas McCarthy)
Bring 'em in.
Really, we got to give thanks. C'mon, bring em in. Hands around. Who wants to say it?
God, thank you for letting us sit here and enjoy this meal. Please watch over everybody. Please let my dad heal, he's driving me f***ing crazy…. Anybody you guys want to mention?
Amen. Let's dig in.
I love the way the Hollywood Reporter summed up STATION AGENT after the Sundance premiere. "A dwarf inherits a rural New Jersey train station and bonds with a hot-dog vendor and an artist. Gonna rush right out to see that one? Probably not, but…" It's the "but" that counts: nobody can help liking this one-of-a-kind, good natured, unsentimental beauty. No budget, small story, great performances, it's a wryly humorous portrait of two resolute loners and the ultra-gregarious extrovert who sets out to befriend them, who knows why. He's compelled, he cannot do otherwise, friendliness is hard-wired in this guy. He's a force of nature. Good nature.
This is a film about solitude and train watching, good food and casual cruelty and what ordinary community feels like. By any measure, it's a soulful film: these are richly drawn characters you just want to hang with, it's a pleasure to be in their company. Still, I'm not sure I would have pegged this one as a specifically spiritual film if it weren't for that prayer, and that from the unlikeliest of sources. Or is he?
I see that unrestrained appetite for friendship and food and everything out there, I see the comfortable place his faith has in a life that's so unapologetcally human it might get labeled hypocritical but I would call it just being alive, and I can't help thinking, "I want to be more like that guy."
Is it a certifiable God Movie? Maybe not. Is it soul food? Oh yeah.
PIECES OF APRIL
Available at Videomatica