The Girl on the Train [La Fille du RER]

"Excellent"

The Girl on the Train [La Fille du RER] Review


This understated drama really gets under the skin through vivid characters and situations. Finely skilled direction and acting makes it vividly real, like an extremely low-key thriller that grabs hold and won't let go.

Skater girl Jeanne (Dequenne) lives in a Paris suburb with her helpful mum Louise (Deneuve). When meets another skater, Franck (Duvauchelle), their romance develops quickly. And she decides to move in with him rather than take an offered job as a secretary for a legal firm headed by Samuel (Blanc), a renowned specialist in cases involving anti-Semitic violence who has a past connection with Jeanne's parents. But when things go wrong she does something that has severe consequences.

Techine's filmmaking is warm and sensuous, immediately drawing us in simply because we recognise these people and situations as authentic. And as he deepens the story, it becomes politically intriguing as well, touching on issues from internet dating to racial clashes. Techine also continually insinuates that these people are capable of making big mistakes in their efforts to find happiness and security.

The performances are shaded and natural, offering brief glimpses of internal emotions as everyone seems unsure of themselves and their effect on each other.

The developments of the plot are sudden and sometimes shocking, but never sensationalised, and we really feel the impact of events on the characters. At the centre, Dequenne brings a steely vulnerability to this naive young woman whose life is punctuated by train journeys.

Meanwhile, there's a strong sense of past decisions and consequences in the tentative, delicately played scenes between Deneuve and Blanc. And side roles for Elkabetz (as Samuel's assistant and former daughter-in-law), Demy (as Samuel's son) and Quaegebeur (as their about-to-be Bar Mitzvahed son) add texture and meaning, especially as the plot develops. In some ways, there's too much going on in this film: parent-child issues, hate crimes, romantic desperation, relational fallout. But Techine gently puts us into these situations, forcing us to examine our own decisions and motives, which is all too rare in the cinema these days.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Said Ben Said

Starring: as Samuel Bleistein, as Louise, as Jeanne, Nicolas Duvauchelle as Franck, Mathieu Demy as Alex, le fils de Samuel, as Judith, Jérémie Quaegebeur as Nathan, leur fils

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.