BuzzFeed Profiles HUMANITAS Winner Thomas McCarthy
When he’s not making indies like The Station Agent or the upcoming The Cobbler, filmmaker Thomas McCarthy writes studio scripts like Up and Million Dollar Arm. Here’s why he doesn’t see the two as all that different.
Here’s an elevator pitch for you: Thomas McCarthy’s new movie is “about a sad cobbler.” “How’s that?!” he said, laughing when giving the rundown over the phone. “It’s about a cobbler from the Lower East Side who’s asking the eternal question: Is this all there is? In the midst of that, he discovers he has a special ability to change his future. It opens up his life in a whole new way.”
Not that McCarthy needs to do anymore pitching on that project. He’s currently in post-production on The Cobbler, which he directed and co-wrote, and which stars Adam Sandler in one of those rare and often surprising non-Adam Sandler movie roles. It’s a safe bet that the film’s headed to a premiere at one of the major festivals, where McCarthy’s three past features have all premiered to acclaim.
As a filmmaker, McCarthy’s been an indie darling since his 2003 debut The Station Agent, the first introduction for many to Peter Dinklage, who starred as a railroad-loving introvert who inherits and goes to live on an abandoned train depot in rural New Jersey. 2007’s The Visitor and 2011’s Win Win have continued his tradition of taking potentially cutesy scenarios and spinning them into nuanced, warm, but never easily sentimental portraits of ragtag communities and families of choice.