The Girl on the Train (La Fille du RER) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Girl on the Train (La Fille du RER) Reviews

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May 13, 2014
Domestic violence
½ September 14, 2013
After all these years, I still can't quite get along that, there are way too many agenda being included in a film from French Cinema, especially when the story is told in a very serious, uptight tone with spontaneous narrative & so-called "natural" acting. This is just an example.
August 14, 2013
I am going to pass on this.
½ August 9, 2013
An interesting story, with tons of questions and few answers. Well told but nothing exceptional.
½ March 25, 2013
"La Fille du RER" or "The Girl on the Train" is a tough nut to crack. On one side, it's a tidy, neat treat from the delicious tastes of French cinema; yet on the other, it's a film that raises a potentially very compelling and controversial topic but merely glosses over it and does just about nothing with it. It's hard to discredit it completely though, because it does have Catherine Deneuve in a leading role, and the talent of André Téchiné at the helm.
The film focuses on Jeanne (Émilie Dequenne), a pretty but troubled young woman who floats aimlessly throughout life, with her supportive mother (Deneuve) always in the wings. Jeanne's life suddenly becomes a little more exciting when brooding wrester/thug Franck (Nicolas Duvaunchelle) charms her. She moves in with them, they begin dating, and then they get a sweet gig working as caretakers for a warehouse that actually is filled with drugs (which is unknown to Jeanne). After Franck is stabbed by an impatient junkie, Jeanne barely escapes getting arrested, and even worse, Franck wants nothing to do with her. If we didn't know Jeanne was fragile before, now we do, because suddenly, after hearing many stories similar on TV, she fabricates a story in which a group of strangers attack her because they believe she's Jewish. But why does she do it?
At one glance, "La Fille du RER" works well in the sense that it's realistic, and it makes for a somewhat involving piece of drama. Téchiné directs every scene with style and flair, but never overdoes it, while the score is unsettling but just as mysterious as the characters themselves. From a technical standpoint, the film is gorgeous, but it doesn't have much more to offer than that.
Dequenne and Deneuve are both excellent though; Dequenne manages to make Jeanne seem a bit troubled without ever once overdoing it, while Deneuve it heartbreaking as the caring mother that doesn't know how to deal with the mess her daughter has made. They make use of what little they have to work with, and it's disappointing they couldn't have been in a better film than this.
The pacing and story just feels imbalance-- almost 3/4 of the film are taken just to explain the relationship between Jeanne and Franck, and Jeanne and her mother, and how it could have molded her into a crazed mess. By the time the actual "hate-crime" idea comes along, there's a mere half-hour left, which doesn't give the viewer any time to fully absorb what's happening. The topic itself it subtly skimmed over, and resolved so quickly that hardly any drama occurs. Everything in the film feels way undercooked-- even with just twenty more minutes, it could've broadened its ideas a little bit and eventually become a better film. But instead, it's stuck in a world where style comes over substance.
"La Fille du RER" is a decent French thriller, but it isn't as good as it should be, considering the subject matter. Only for the biggest fans of either Deneuve or Téchiné, or both.
½ January 15, 2013
It's pretty fascinating. Probably the best word I have for it.
½ January 15, 2013
Beautifully shot, this moralistic drama is visually and emotionally intriguing. The use of different camera movements, changing between hand held, long shots and close ups are used to create intense drama. Also, the repetition of imagery and even use of dual exposure creates a visual emotional language that communicates the drama in this film. It is based on an actual case, although adapted. The performances are good especially Emilie Dequenne as Jeanne, creating an intense emotional narrative, that like most French films leaves much open and ambiguous and thus all the more interesting. Overall this film is superbly shot and brings up some interesting religious, political, moral and social issues.
September 29, 2012
Bizarre, but mostly because it's fact-based.
Super Reviewer
½ September 22, 2012
Episodic and slow-paced, this bizarre fact-based drama benefits from a dreamy visual style, poetic editing and three immersive central performances. It's a universal truth that people lie; "The Girl on the Train" is a rare exploration of what that can mean.
September 1, 2012
For a movie based on true facts, this plot is surprisingly artificial and wooden. The characters are skin deep, the cliches abound, and motivation seems to be an afterthought for all parties involved.
March 17, 2012
Jeanne (Ămilie Dequenne) is a young woman who wants to have her vacations in Italy but this year she has a debt of 130 euros in the bank and is currently with no work. She uses her roller skates to go every where, and that is how she meets Franck (Nicolas Duvauchelle). Then, Jeanne moves in together with Franck but she has no idea that he accepted a drug dealer offer to be able to afford a house for them. A surreal story with an ordinary end. While she has no luck and end up in jail, the lawyer that once could had given her a job and helped her is busy at his grandson's bar mitzvah.
½ September 27, 2011
A ferret of a movie: you'd better watch it close or it'll get away from you.
½ August 11, 2011
One would think it is about a girl who lies, but I see this film being about something more. It is a direct critique of the mass media and the way they can mislead an event and turn it into a huge deal. Apparently based on a true story.
½ August 9, 2011
Strange snap of a good for nothing young girl after not achieving her relationship with the cute boyfriend. Deneuve always a great performance no matter the movie she is in!.
½ May 31, 2011
Well-intended psychodrama for the hyper PC French nation. I can't criticize it for that. "Real" French versus Jews versus the Others.... why can't we all live together? Personally I just can't get that exercised over it. If it was set somewhere more hypothetical, like Mars, I'd say it's not a very good script at all. The acting? The young man is quite good--I'd like to see more of him. Some critics are praising the young woman but no...she does nothing but pose for the camera... Where's the acting"? Catherine Deneuvre puts in about her thousandth film appearance as Madame d' France. All she ever has to do is change the spoken lines, then pick up the paycheck. Didn't she even wear the same MAKEUP last time? Some of the cinematography is quite good. As for the musical score...ummm...was there one?
½ May 26, 2011
I expected a lot more from this movie. Specially because after hating French films for many years, in the last 3 or 4 years I really began to love French cinema. However, this film did not fulfill my expectations and, even though I did not hate it, I found myself waiting for a better plot and a more interesting development.
½ May 26, 2011
I expected a lot more from this movie. Specially because after hating French films for many years, in the last 3 or 4 years I really began to love French cinema. However, this film did not fulfill my expectations and, even though I did not hate it, I found myself waiting for a better plot and a more interesting development.
April 13, 2011
What some people do is inexplicable. They just do it and we can't be sure why. I suppose psychologists would say it is attention-getting behavior or, on another level, I wish to be with the outcasts, the pariahs, and the persecuted. Again, is she merely angry because her love affair turned into a hoax. So many answers, that is why the movie is a riddle.
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