There isn’t a character, location or situation in The Station Agent that could exist anywhere other than in a screenplay. Excruciatingly earnest and hopelessly contrived, this is the story of Finbar McBride, a reclusive, train-obsessed man with dwarfism (Peter Dinklage) who inherits an abandoned, small-town depot. Surrounded by batch of quirky characters, Finbar eventually learns to come out of his shell. Cue the loud-mouthed “ethnic” coffee truck proprietor (Bobby Cannavale) who sets up shop outside the depot every day even though there isn’t a customer for miles around. Cue the distressed mother (Patricia Clarkson) mourning the death of her son by forcing a friendship with Finbar. And let’s not even get into the way the picture wastes Michelle Williams. Writer-director Tom McCarthy, making his debut after years as an actor, has a noble goal: to create a drama around a dwarf that isn’t broad comedy or fantasy. But the entire enterprise feels so hollow, it’s hard not to think that Elf served Dinklage better.
Directed by David Fincher. Screenplay by Nancy Grace?