The Girl on the Train (La fille du RER) is an absorbing mother daughter drama set in the Paris suburbs.
The young woman is Emilie Dequenne, the Belgian actress who won the best actress award at Canne when she was only 17 in the Dardenne brothers’ Rosetta. In contrast to Rosetta, she doesn’t play a force of nature, but a slacker bobbing through life on a tide of random influences. She lives with her single mom (Catherine Deneuve), and they get along, despite the mother’s unwelcome tips on job hunting.
The daughter meets a guy, her life takes some resulting turns and then she makes a really bad choice. The mom seeks out an old beau, now a celebrity attorney to help fix the situation.
I missed seeing this in the theater because the trailer emphasizes a faked hate crime (and I wasn’t eager to see a topical movie). But the movie is not about the faked hate crime, which occurs late into the story. The story is character driven. The daughter drifts first part of the movie and is controlled by events until she finds herself in a desperate situation; she panics and sees the most stupid option as a solution. The situation then forces the mother to re-open a chapter in her life that she had chosen to close – how far will she open the old door?
It’s on my list of Best Movies of 2010 So Far.
See the rest of my DVD recommendations.