March 20, 2004 – "The Station Agent" is the second film being featured in this season's CASA of the Virgin Islands Movie Series. The multiple award-winning critics' choice will be shown Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Diamond Cinemas.
The film series is part of a fund-raising and public-awareness effort by Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Virgin Islands, a not-for-profit organization that trains volunteers to become advocates for children who are in the foster care system after being removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. Last month's premier showing of "In America" opened the series. Three more films are to be announced.
Several of the choices are movies that "are being brought in for a one-night exclusive showing," CASA project director Gail R. Shearer said, and "The Station Agent" is one of those. All of the films have been selected in keeping with "a theme of being uplifting and full of hope for a better tomorrow," she added.
More than 50 film critics put "The Station Agent" on their Top 10 lists for 2003 –including Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times, Ken Turan of the Los Angeles Times, Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post, Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News and Roger Friedman of Fox News. So did New York Film Critics Online.
Among the awards the movie received are Best Screenplay, Best Performance (Patricia Clarkson) and Best Drama Audience Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival; Best Supporting Actress (again Clarkson) from both the National Board of Review and the Boston Society of Film Critics; Favorite Feature Audience Award and Emergency Actor Award (Peter Dinklage) at the Aspen Filmfest; an audience award at the Stockholm Film Festival and a special jury prize at the Marrakesh Film Festival.
Written and directed by Thomas McCarthy, "The Station Agent," according to CASA publicity, "is a gentle but quirky and humorous story about friendship and how friendship can overcome loneliness."
The story is about Fin (Dinklage), who acquires the title job having inherited a rundown train depot in a remote outpost in rural New Jersey. And Joe (Bobby Cannavale), a gregarious and gabby Cuban who shows up at the station each day in his mobile food van. And an artist grieving over the death of her young son, Olivia (Clarkson, described by reviewer Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times as "the Barry Bonds of low-budget film"), a regular customer of Joe's who nearly runs down Fin, a dwarf, with her car.
In a nice double entendre, Turan's review is subtitled "Life Meets at a Junction." He writes that the film is about "the delicate intersection of three highly individual lives," noting that McCarthy, with New York stage experience, "wrote each part with a specific actor in mind." Turan says McCarthy "knows how messy other people's lives turn out to be when you get involved with them, and he understands not only the risks to yourself when you do, but the cost to yourself when you don't."
Roger Ebert of the Sun-Times says the film is "simply a story about trying to figure out what you love to do and then trying to figure out how to do it."
On Wednesday, prior to the showing, CASA will host a wine and paté social hour. And, technical requirements permitting, there are plans to show an eight-minute trailer for a documentary being produced on St. Croix featuring local musician Jamesie Brewster and his internationally acclaimed "scratch" music.
The Prosser/ICC Foundation is underwriting the cost of showing the CASA series films; businesses and individuals are invited to provide sponsorship for promotional costs and the pre-movie cocktail hours.
The film is rated R for depictions of drug and alcohol consumption, sexual situations and language.
Tickets for "The Station Agent" are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. They're being sold at Applause in Sunny Isle, Walsh Metal Works in Peters Rest, Gone Tropical in Christiansted, Undercover Books and Patalidis Designs in Gallows Bay, Turtle's Deli and Richards & Ayers Century 21 in Frederiksted, and Solitude Country Store. For more information, call CASA at 773-2626 or Barbara Walsh at 773-8169. For more information about the advocate program, visit the CASA of the V.I. Web site.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.