Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones) is cast as a character with an odd name yet again, as he plays the part of Finbar McBride, a lonely, New Jersey-based dwarf who loves trains. He works at a model train store, he reads about trains, goes train spotting- they’re his passion, his distraction from the sideways looks and thoughtless comments he receives due to his being a dwarf.
Through an unfortunate event, Finbar inherits a small track of land with an abandoned train station on it in rural New Jersey- if you look close enough, you can see where Silvio shot Adriana. He moves there permanently, having found what seems like a perfect spot for a loner seeking his permanent fortress of solitude. The station soon turns into a small social hub however, as he befriends people from the small town, two in particular, one of whom (the always great Patricia Clarkson) is dealing with her own emotional trauma. Fin just wants to be left to himself, but these characters keep interjecting themselves in his life, and Fin reluctantly starts to come out of his shell.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Had heard good things about it for years and it lived up to my expectations. It is a bit dark, and very honest. Despite this it still maintains an overall happy tone, not an easy line for a movie to walk. It is not perfect- there are what I thought were some uneven scenes (both oddly involving physicality/falling- if you watch it, you’ll immediately know what I mean). But overall very recommended. Both Dinklage, Clarkson, and Bobby Cannavale (the 2nd part of the aforementioned duo above, he provides very effective comic relief) turn in great performances. John Slattery (Mad Men’s Roger Sterling) turns up for a small role at the end, and both Michelle Williams and Joe Lo Truglio show up in supporting roles.
4 out of 5 stars
This is Tom McCarthy’s writing and directorial debut. McCarthy has been in dozens of movies and TV shows over the last 20 years. He was most recognizable to me from his role in the 5th season of The Wire, as the sleazy, story-fabricating reporter from The Baltimore Sun. And interestingly enough it appears he and Dinklage have collaborated again as McCarthy’s IMDB page shows he’s acted as a consulting producer on Game of Thrones.