2016 #7 – The Girl on the Train (dir. Tate Taylor)

“I used to watch this perfect couple…they were the embodiment of true love.” – Emily Blunt as Rachel Watson in The Girl on the Train.

The Girl on the Train (2016)
Director:
Tate Taylor
Starring: emilyblunt.pngrebeccafergusonhaleybennettjustintherouxlukeevansallisonjanneyedgarramirezlisakudrowlauraprepon
Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Édgar Ramírez, Lisa Kudrow, Laura Prepon
Written By: Erin Cressida Wilson
Running Time: 112 minutes (1 hour, 52 minutes)
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller

The first word that comes to my mind when I think of The Girl on the Train isn’t thrilling, mysterious, exciting or even entertaining. It’s messy. The Girl on the Train is a huge mess of a film that tries hard to be Gone Girl 2.0, but instead it falls apart within the first few minutes with its terrible script and only gets worse from there.

I have not read the book this film is based on, but I do know that sometimes certain things translate better on page than on screen. Good direction can overcome many obstacles, but Tate Taylor’s direction is sloppy beyond belief and he destroys any chance this movie had. At the very least The Girl on the Train should have been fun in a so-bad-it’s-good kind of way – instead it is a slog.

The film is about a woman named Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) who literally spends her entire day riding the train. That is not an exaggeration – she literally spends her entire day sitting on a train. She is literally the girl on the train.

Every time she is on the train she is conveniently able to spot events important to the plot through her window (it’s kind of amazing how convenient this train track is. I’m pretty sure it even runs past the window of the therapist’s office?). She witnesses an affair (because of course the two are involved right on the patio in plain sight), which soon turns into a potential murder case that Rachel finds herself right in the middle of.

Oh, and the affair happens two houses away from Rachel’s ex-husband. Oh, and she is also an alcoholic and happens to have a blackout on the night of the woman’s disappearance.

The entire film is headache-inducing. From the overlong narration to the constant timeline jumps to the dreary, lifeless visuals that the film never breaks away from, even when it is daytime. It’s too much in all the wrong ways.

It’s a miracle that Emily Blunt manages to salvage something out of this. While the entire film crumbles beneath her feet, Blunt takes on the role of Rachel with full force and she gives a much better performance than a film like this earned.

As for the rest of this cast: Allison Janney and Lisa Kudrow’s talents are devastatingly wasted, Haley Bennett constantly reminded me of Jennifer Lawrence and for some reason Édgar Ramírez’s character randomly begins shouting in Spanish when he is supposed to be Bosnian? Who knows. 2/5 (both points only for Blunt’s performance).


2016 Personal Ballot (updates are in bold)

Best Picture
1.
Hell or High Water
2.
Sing Street
3.
Loving
4.
The Jungle Book
5.
Hidden Figures

Best Director
1.
David Mackenzie – Hell or High Water
2.
Jon Favreau – The Jungle Book
3.
John Carney – Sing Street
4.
Jeff Nichols – Loving
5.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
1. Joel Edgerton – Loving
2. Chris Pine – Hell or High Water
3. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo – Sing Street
4.
5.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
1. Ruth Negga – Loving
2. Taraji P. Henson – Hidden Figures
3. Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train
4.
5.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1. Ben Foster – Hell or High Water
2. Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
3. Jack Reynor – Sing Street
4.
5.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1. Janelle Monaé – Hidden Figures
2. Lucy Boynton – Sing Street
3. Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
4.
5.

Best Original Screenplay
1. Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
2. Sing Street – Simon Carmody, John Carney
3.
4.
5.

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. Loving – Jeff Nichols
2. Hidden Figures – Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder
3. The Jungle Book – Justin Marks
4.
5.

Best Film Ensemble
1. Hell or High Water – Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham, Marin Ireland, Katy Mixon, Dale Dickey, Kevin Rankin, Katy Mixon, Margaret Bowman
2. Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monaé, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge
3. Sing Street – Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kelly Thornton, Don Wycherley, Ben Carolan, Mark McKenna, Percy Chamburuka, Conor Hamilton, Karl Rice, Ian Kenny
4. The Jungle Book – Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken
5.

Best Original Score
1. Loving – David Wingo
2. The Jungle Book – John Debney
3. Hell or High Water – Nick Cave, Warren Ellis
4. Hidden Figures – Benjamin Wallfisch, Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer
5.

Best Original Song
1.
Sing Street – “Drive It Like You Stole It” by Gary Clark
2. Sing Street – “To Find You” by Gary Clark
3.
Sing Street – “Up” by John Carney, Gary Clark, Graham Henderson, Carl Papenfus, Ken Papenfus, Zamo Riffman
4.
Hidden Figures – “Runnin’” by Pharrell Williams
5.
Hidden Figures – “I See a Victory” by Kirk Franklin, Pharrell Williams

Best Production Design
1. Passengers – Guy Hendrix Dyas, Gene Serdena
2. Hidden Figures – Missy Parker, Wynn Thomas
3. Sing Street – Tamara Conboy, Alan MacDonald
4.
5.

Best Cinematography
1. Hell or High Water – Giles Nuttgens
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
1. Sing Street – Barbara Conway, Sandra Kelly
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Costume Design
1. Sing Street – Tiziana Corvisieri
2. Hidden Figures – Renée Ehrlich Kalfus
3. Loving – Erin Benach
4.
5.

Best Film Editing
1. Hell or High Water – Jake Roberts
2. The Jungle Book – Mark Livolsi
3. Sing Street – Andrew Marcus, Julian Ulrichs
4.
5.

Best Visual Effects
1. The Jungle Book – Andrew R. Jones, Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Adam Valdez
2.
Passengers – Pete Dionne, Sebastien Gourdal, Erik Nordby
3.
Hell or High Water – Jeremy Cox, Scott Hastings, Daniel Holt, Michael Prawitz
4.
5.


2016 Ranked (updates are in bold)

1. Hell or High Water (dir. David Mackenzie)
2.
Sing Street (dir. John Carney)
3.
Loving (dir. Jeff Nichols)
4. The Jungle Book (dir. Jon Favreau)
5. Hidden Figures (dir. Theodore Melfi)
6. Passengers (dir. Morten Tyldum)
7. The Girl on the Train (dir. Tate Taylor)

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