The Station Agent (15)

Written and Directed by Thomas McCarthy

Reviewed by Adam Ford

This charming film picked up a shedload of awards at the independent Sundance festival, and it’s easy to see why. Despite what seems like an unlikely plot, the subtle direction and scripting bring-out believable performances from the main actors, and fill the screen with radiance and warmth. Though it sounds as though they should be, sick bags are not required at any stage.

When Fin (Peter Dinklage) - a reclusive train enthusiast born with dwarfism - loses his only friend to a sudden death, he inherits a lonely shack beside a New Jersey railway line. His tranquillity is soon shattered however, when an annoyingly gregarious hot dog vendor (Bobby Canavale) makes it business to investigate his new neighbour, and he is twice nearly run over by a bereaved painter (Patricia Clarkson). Despite initial wariness, Fin gradually comes out of his shell, and the three become close friends.

There are no big names, no special effects and there has been no big promotional push but word of mouth will hopefully see this movie become the hit it surely deserves to be. There are laughs, there are smiles, and for 88 minutes it seems like the world isn’t such a bad place after all.