Drea and I recently got a Netflix account to replace our Blockbuster membership. (Side note: Netflix freaking rocks. If you rent more than 2 movies a month, it’s a better deal than Blockbuster, and more convenient in my opinion.)

Anyhow, I added “The Station Agent” to our Netflix queue on account of glowing reviews from my parents, as well as from a friend of Drea’s. We weren’t disappointed.

“The Station Agent” follows a man, Fin, who inherits an abandoned train station in rural New Jersey. Fin, a dwarf who’s painfully accustomed to being the center of attention, moves into the train station, hoping for a life of solitude. However, his attempts at seclusion are countered by the eager befriending efforts of his new neighbors. While this is initially of great annoyance to him, he eventually lets his guard down enough to realize he may need some friends after all, and they might need him too.

Along the way, we catch a glimpse into life as a dwarf. Fin seems to understand that most people aren’t used to seeing people like him, but is still appalled at their lack of discretion when they do. He wonders why people treat him differently when he’s just “a simple, boring person.” He ironically becomes much more than that as he emerges as a hero.

Drea’s keen awareness of symbolism makes her a fun person to watch movies with. She shrewdly observed the signifigance of Fin’s train station home, and his role as the “station agent.” I took note of the movie’s setting in the real New Jersey town of Newfoundland. Symbolism or pure coincidence? Did the director actually consult a map and hand-pick a town based on the symbolic value of its name? I can’t decide.

It doesn’t matter. It was a fantastic movie regardless. While the outcome is somewhat predictable, it’s the character development, not plot twists, that makes it a great movie. I wish more independent-type films like this made it to the big screen. Maybe recent blockbusters like “Juno” and “Napoleon Dynamite” are a good sign.

In any case, rent “The Station Agent”. You’ll love it.

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