DVD The Girl on the Train (DVD 6462028),
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The Girl on the Train
Region 1 USA/CA (
It marked a grotesque and unseemly incident that took the European press by storm: in 2004, a young French woman came forward and claimed to have been attacked by black and Arabic thugs who mistook her for a Jew. But after her story broke, no witnesses came forward to support her, and security cameras at the train station revealed no such attack; the woman later admitted that she had ripped her own clothes, drawn swastikas on her own stomach, and fabricated the entire story. With the drama FILLE DU RER, acclaimed French writer-director Andr Tchin presents a thinly veiled fictionalization of the same events. Emilie Dequenne stars as Jeanne, an unemployed girl who lives with her mother (Catherine Deneuve) in a Parisian suburb and spends the majority of her free time rollerblading. She has little knowledge of -- or interest in -- history or politics, and remains withdrawn, insular, and sullen, keeping the majority of her thoughts and observations to herself. Circumstances change just a bit when Jeanne enters a live-in relationship with a beefy, thuggish, wrestler boyfriend, Franck (Nicolas Duvauchelle) living in a dingy warehouse, but violence soon erupts between the two. Jeanne ultimately takes a job for an attorney-cum-ex-boyfriend of her mother's (Michel Blanc) whose involvement in Judaic causes and politically committed family prompt even greater feelings of alienation and isolation in Jeanne. When Franck's involvement in criminal activities comes to light and the police intervene, Jeanne perversely reasons that she can only become tied to history by inventing a role for herself, and decides to fabricate said story about the train -- little realizing the calamitous consequences that it will engender.
Michel Blanc, Mathieu Demy, Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Dorlac, Ronit Elkabetz, Emilie Dequenne, Nicolas Duvauchelle
"[Dequenne] projects an eroticized bourgeois-feline narcissism reminiscent of Sandrine Bonnaire in the '80s. She's a captivating presence..."
"Tchin brings clarity, maturity, and perspective to the case while subtly addressing all the thorny social issues the affair touched off."
"Techine, as always, is concerned with the human dynamic of a situations, with the mysteries of interpersonal behavior. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is focused on the paradoxes and contradictions of how people act..."
Los Angeles Times
3 stars out of 4 -- "Techine is a French master....He's worked before with Deneuve, who here strikes a nice balance of sweetness and vagueness."
"[A] riveting film, subtly building up a menacing, discordant atmosphere..."
Sight and Sound
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