James Cole Clay has been working as a film critic for the better part of a decade covering new releases, blu ray reviews and the occasional drive-in cult classic. His writing is dedicated to discovering social politics through diverse voices, primarily focusing on Women In Film and LGBTQ cinema.
James Cole Clay//Film Critic
Hitting theaters this week is THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, which is based on the popular book of the same name.
Now it’s always exciting for us as book lovers to have a film adaption based on a sumptuous novel for adults. It’s just refreshing when a book-turned-movie is getting major attention doesn’t have a dystopian love triangle or werewolves. To put it into context, the story is somewhere in the middle of GONE GIRL and 50 SHADES OF GREY.
If you aren’t familiar with the story here is the IMDB logline as follows: “A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.” It stars Emily Blunt, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Haley Bennett and Rebecca Ferguson.
Here’s 5 reasons why we’re excited about the film’s release.
1. Emily Blunt has been on fire
Blunt broke onto the scene in 2006’s delightfully playful THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA as a stuck-up assistant to a fashion mogul. A decade later she has developed into an actor with a wide range and chops that will have her in the business of movie making for many more decades to come. I first noticed her pivoting her career in the Tom Cruise led sci-fi action film EDGE OF TOMORROW as a badass captain who killed murderous aliens for sport. And not to mention she played a FBI agent caught in a moral crisis with last year’s SICARIO (now streaming on Hulu).
Blunt digs deep in THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN as an alcoholic who quite literally blurs the lines between detective and stalker. It’s a super scandalous role that has her fresh as ever.
2. Perfect fun at the movies for adults.
In my press and word of mouth screening for THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN this week, there were adult couples of all types in attendance– and even though their whispers trying to uncover the plot were incredibly annoying, they were having fun at the movies.
There’s something that has to be said for a popcorn movie made for adults with eerie topics that are playfully uncovered.
3. Underrated Luke Evans is finally being used properly
This dude has spent the past several years acting next to elves and playing Dracula (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but we haven’t seen him play a character too often that’s grounded in the real world.
He has a mysterious presence that works well in THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, he’s clearly having fun with the role and shows that his physical attributes are going to be perfect for Gaston in next year’s live-action BEAUTY & THE BEAST remake.
4. Erica Cressida Wilson screenwriter of the ground-breaking film SECRETARY lent her pen to THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
Wilson (read our interview here) wrote the script for the 2002 film SECRETARY, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader, about a strange sexual relationship between a woman and her boss.
While the script for neither of these films is perfect, Wilson plays with male vs. female roles within relationships platonic and otherwise.
She has a sharp eye for detail and quite frankly just making an entertaining script. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN may lack nuance, but it makes up for that playing like a low-key soap opera.
5. Tate Taylor (THE HELP) directs THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
While THE HELP had a good message, it was a bit corny for my personal taste. His direction style really shined with 2014’s under-seen James Brown biopic GET ON UP. He knows how to play with style and color palettes; I get this is a little inside baseball for the casual movie fan, but trust me it adds to quality of the film.
Some have said that he wasn’t the correct choice to direct THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, but I felt like he brought a certain level of “fun” to an otherwise disturbing story of murder and romantics trysts.
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN opens nationwide today. Read Courtney Howard’s review here.