This is a gorgeous and seductive piece of filmmaking; a real 3-course meal. The scenes are lush and ripe, the characters are mysterious and interesting--the relationships have multiple layers. A very satisfying film with undertones, overtones and some very interesting social and personal statements.
This was an altogether pedestrian effort from Techine. The first half had a nice sprung rhythm to it and some bits of montage with good aesthetic kick, particularly during the two lovers' Skype romance. But it quickly turns into a confused mess with no destination in mind. Not very much like a sleek, swift, purposeful train, I'm afraid.
I enjoy a good non-linear story, and I enjoy thought-provoking films, but golly gee, this simply does not work. Editing is not just brusque but bizarre. The story moves in massive jerks without expressing much. It could have been a statement on trenchant issues but ends up being more like visual masturbation. Sorry. Pass.
Just...well not horrible. For the most part the story is flat and un-involving. Nothing that hasn't been done before. The only reason I continued to watch was Catherine Deneuve - she might as well have been in another film. The film that I watched when she wasn't around...wasn't good.
I liked that this one fit snugly with Techine's oeuvre -- he's like Eric Roemer laced with arsenic, depicting duel poles of attraction with regret and disastrous consequences. Yet, the rollerblading main characters fit what was a bit off with this movie -- it was a bit too blithe, too shallow to allow us into the characters' heads. Give us more motivation behind Jeanne's actions, and you'd have a better film.
Deneuve chain-smokes and takes sleeping pills. This is a French film! We didn't reinvent the wheel since Godard...
I don't remember much about the real story, except that in the media the girl wasn't described as naïve as she is on the film. Jeanne is incredibly gullible. The wrestler raises 30 red flags, but she goes for it. The story of her mom and the lawyer is way over the top.
The political examination of contemporary French politics, and the way that media and mismanaged government can make a situation spiral out of control, are well placed, but The Girl on The Train is not terribly distinctive. Some shots are nicely framed, while some handheld camera moments nauseate. Distinctively slow, it captures in some moments, but is overall fairly forgettable.