I have the honor of introducing the opening film of the 2011 Battelle Film Club's Fall Series on Friday night. It's The Station Agent.
Great choice to open a series.
In 2003 The Station Agent was my pick for the year's best flick. Since then I've turned a couple of dozen people on to the movie. To a person they feel like I do. It's one of the best character studies done in the last 20-years.
When my career as a movie critic is all said and done and my personal credits roll, The Station Agent will be on the final Mr. Movie best movies list.
It's that good.
Writer/director Tom McCarthy also did this year's best movie - so far. Like The Station Agent, Win Win is a terrific character study that features great acting and brilliant writing. Some of you may know McCarthy for a more popular art house favorite The Visitor.
Or as a last stretch, you may recognize McCarthy as an actor. He played Dr. Tom in the Meet the Fockers offspring Meet the Parents and had parts in 2012 and The Lovely Bones.
My favorite writers from the year 2000 on have been McCarthy and Charlie Kaufman who penned Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Where Kaufman creates clever and original plots, McCarthy is more about characters.
No one writes more interesting characters than McCarthy.
The Station Agent has three main characters. They are a dwarf who inherits a train station and wants to be left alone, a woman separated from her husband and who is grieving and just wants to be left alone, and a guy running a food wagon for his sick dad who can't stand to be alone.
The film's focus is their endearing but unlikely friendship.
Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale - in order - play the three characters. Also in a small role is Michelle Williams as the town librarian.
As I mentioned earlier, I've recommended this film to a dozen people and a dozen people have thanked me. Now I'm recommending it to you. If fascinating, well-written character studies are your thing, don't miss The Station Agent.
I'll be at the Battelle Auditorium from about 7:30 until showtime and will be available at movie's end to do one of my favorite things - talk movies. Join me and don't be shy. If I'm talking with someone, come up and say hello and let's you and I talk movies.