13th UK Jewish Film Festival: The Girl On The Train (Le Fille Du RER) (2009), Dir. André Téchiné

Tension mounts for Jeanne (Émilie Dequenne) as she sits with Samuel Bleistein's (Michel Blanc) family

Rating: 7/10

The film concerns the twenty-something Jeanne  (a luminous Émilie Dequenne) and the consequences that come about when she makes up an anti-Semetic attack. It starts by showing the close relationship with her caring single mother Louise (the brilliant Catherine Deneuve), making her fall from grace more baffling and disturbing to Louise and the audience. When Jeanne is looking for her job Louise finds her a secretarial role at her old friend (who formerly wanted to marry her whiole she was married to Jeanne’s late father) Samuel Bleistein’s (Michel Blanc) law firm.

However she does not get the job and instead meets a man Franck (an intriguing Nicholas Duvaucelle who bears more than a passing resemblance to Tom Hardy) while skating who pursues her (after cleverly scamming her a suitcase) until she finally agress to meet up with him again (*spoiler warning read on to next paragraph if you don’t want to know all the plot details*). He then gets her involved unknowingly in a drugs ring so he can afford to live with her. An incident with a drug dealer then leaves him hospitlaised and prompts him to break off with her, angry for getting attached and annoyed  that she lied to him about her job as  a secretary. The whole incident leaves Jeanne traumitised and partly explains her fabrication of the anti-Semetic violence against her, showing her need for love and attention in this time of crisis.

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London Film Festival ’09 Review

So there was plenty of great looking films to choose from (I particularly wanted also to see Jacques Audiard’s  A Prophet as recommended to me by Julien Planté, Joon-Ho Bong’s Mother, Jacques Rivette’s Around A Small Mountain, Elia Suleiman’s The Time That Remains, Jarmusch’s The Limits Of Control and Mia Hansen-Løve’s Father of My Children amongst others, guess I will have to wait for the DVDs) and I eventually chose rather a mixed bag.


Jeunet's latest stars Dany Boon (centre) as Bazil, here with his adopted family of eccentrics.

The first film I saw was the Gala opening of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs (Micmacs À  Tire-Larigot) which I found to be not quite as good as Amelie of City Of Lost Children. Jean Pierre-Jeunet’s  last film A Very Long Engagement marked a departure to a more serious tone and epic scale and it’s been five years since then after an adaptation of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi  (tis a  shame I would’ve liked to have seen that) got too expensive, as Jeunet himself told us introducing the film. So there was a high expectation for this one.

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