"The Girl on the Train" ("La Fille du RER") Movie Trailer Review

1/10/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Lita Robinson

“The Girl on the Train” follows the story of a young Parisian woman whose aimless life becomes the center of national hysteria after she claims to have been the victim of an anti-Semitic attack aboard a train.

Director André Téchiné (best known for his films “My Favorite Season” (1993) and “Wild Reeds” (1994)) takes on a real-life incident from the summer of 2004, in which a young woman known as Marie L. reported that she had been attacked by six black and Middle-Eastern men, who set upon her with a knife after deciding she was a Jew, cut her hair, ripped her clothes, and drew swastikas on her body.

Public outcry in France over the attack reached unprecedented levels; however, less than five days after reporting her story the authorities, Marie L. admitted that she had inflicted her own wounds and made the whole story up.

The fallout from Marie L.’s admission further complicated the issue of anti-Semitism in France. Yohanan Winogradsky, writing in the Jewish Political Studies Review in 2007, stated that the incident “has led the French political leaders and media to take a much more cautious approach to condemning events as anti-Semitic, even when that is clearly the case.”

In the trailer for "The Girl on the Train," Téchiné’s film seems to be a fairly true-to-life retelling of Marie L.’s life and the incident in question. Emilie Dequenne takes the starring role, and the always superb Catherine Deneuve co-stars as the troubled girl’s mother, torn between telling the truth and protecting her only child.

The trailer shows a sun-drenched Parisian suburb where the girl and her mother live, and the camera follows her as she spends her days roller-blading through the historic parts of the city. The girl glides past the beautiful architecture without looking at it; perhaps a metaphor for her incomprehension of the significance of her actions. The cinematography here is bright and compelling.

Film Forward describes “The Girl on the Train” as “Téchiné’s best film in years.” The film is currently making the American festival rounds, but will be released in Europe later this spring. As long as subtitles don’t bother you, this seems like an engrossing drama that would be worth seeking out.

View the trailer for the movie "The Girl on the Train" below. What are your thoughts?

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