Whether she’s battling Anne Hathaway in the fashionista driven The Devil Wears Prada or embroiled in a drug war with Benicio del Toro (Sicario)Emily Blunt is usually well put together. That image is thrown out the window with The Girl on the Train, a well crafted tale of deception that thankfully stays on the right track.
Rachel is a divorcee who, while commuting on the train, passes by her former home, a place that’s still inhabited by her ex-husband (Justin Theroux) and his new wife (Rebecca Ferguson). The couple have a baby, and Rachel’s own fantasies on what could have been fuel her alcoholism. Swapping water for vodka in her thermos, Rachel is traveling down a self-destructive path that even her best friend (Laura Prepon) can’t stop.
Her sole salvation is a golden couple (Haley Bennett, Luke Evans) who lives next door to her ex. Rachel’s eyes are fixed on these lovers’ daily lives, and she imagines their world to be one happy place.
The reality, however, is that Megan (Bennett) is as unhappy as can be, thanks to her overbearing husband Scott (Evans). Finding a way to break out of her suffocating, suburban existence, Megan seeks solace in her therapist (Edgar Ramirez) and her complex interior life proves that she’s more than the pretty face that Rachel envisions.
Based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel, The Girl on the Train soars when exploring the seemingly disparate lives of Megan and Rachel. Both women are battling their share of demons, and when Megan disappears, Rachel becomes a prime suspect in the case (Allison Janney plays the lead detective).
Director Tate Taylor crafts a well told thriller that’s filled with solid performances from the ensemble, and as pure entertainment the film hits the mark. The flick’s only drawback lies in its visual design. Alfred Hitchcock, Brian De Palma, and David Fincher are masters at crafting eye-catching thrillers filled with memorable compositions, and The Girl on the Train simply doesn’t have that aesthetic.
Emily Blunt delivers first rate work as the bleary-eyed, mentally discombobulated Rachel, and her performance alone is worth the price of admission.
I also discuss The Girl on the Train on this week’s CinemAddicts. Click on the media bar below to hear my review:
The Girl on the Train (R, 112 min.), co-starring Lisa Kudrow, is now playing nationwide.
Now out on Blu-ray and DVD, The Intern is a Brooklyn set comedy about Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro), a 70-year-old widower who wants to keep acting by taking on a new job. His wish is granted after he’s personally selected as the intern for Jules (Anne Hathaway), the company head of a successful online fashion site.
Though Jules is initially hesitant to receive help from her business savvy and congenial intern, she gradually warms up to Ben and finds her career and personal life taking off into new directions thanks to her new co-worker. Rene Russo, last seen doing solid supporting work in Nightcrawler, plays a masseuse who becomes Ben’s new love interest and Anders Holm (Workaholics) stars as Jules’ stay at home husband. Most of the film’s storyline deals with Jules’ struggle over the decision on whether or not to hire a CEO to run the business, with Ben serving as the main support throughout the journey.
Directed and penned by Nancy Meyers, The Intern is her first film since the 2009 Meryl Streep hit It’s Complicated, and like most of Meyers’ work, the film features excellent chemistry with its leads. Though a plot twist during the middle section of the story dealing with Jules and her husband detracts from the film’s greatest asset (the budding friendship between Ben and Jules), it’s a slight hiccup in an otherwise engaging comedy (one sequence, which has Jules teaching Ben how to create a Facebook account, is particularly memorable).
The special features on the Blu-ray include three featurettes:
1. “Learning For Experience” (4:47) – An interview with Meyers as she talks about her inspiration for writing The Intern. The featurette also includes interviews with the cast members.
2. “Designs on Life” (6:08) – The visual and production design aesthetic of Nancy Meyers is discussed by the cast and crew.
3. “The Three Interns” (5:46) – An interview with the other interns (Adam Devine, Jason Orley, and Zack Pearlman) in the film. The movie is Orley’s first picture, as he previously worked on Meyers as her intern on It’s Complicated.
In the clip below, Hathaway talks about working with Robert De Niro:
The Intern, a Nancy Meyers directed comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, hits Blu-ray and DVD January 19 via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The picture was a hit when it came out this year in late September, as it amassed over $191 million worldwide.
The storyline centers on Ben Whittaker (De Niro), a 70-year-old who checks out of retirement and decides to rejoin the working force. He becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site that was created by Jules Ostin (Hathaway), a workaholic who needs a bit of motivation in her life. Meyers’ previous hits included the features It’s Complicated and The Holiday.
Special features on the Blu-ray Combo Pack include the three featurettes “Learning From Experience,” “Designs on Life,” and “The Three Interns.” The DVD’s sole special feature is “”Learning From Experience.”
In the clip below, Anne Hathaway talks about the enlightening experience of making The Intern.
Throughout her career, Academy Award winning actress Anne Hathaway has worked with some of the silver screen’s most talented leading, a list which includes Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Matthew McConaughey among them. In her newest film The Intern she co-stars with two time Oscar winner Robert De Niro.
Some might be intimidated working with such high caliber of actors, but even as a youth Hathaway received her share of mentorship from Julie Andrews, one of cinema’s biggest icons. Working with De Niro is an honor for the actress, and she describes him as a down to earth thespian. (Click on the media bar below to hear Anne Hathaway)
Slated for release next month, THE INTERN is a breezy comedy centered on the relationship between the frazzled founder of a fashion website start-up and her newly hired intern, a retired widower easily twice her age, who becomes best pal and unexpected support system.
A ‘rom-com’ sans the ‘rom’, THE INTERN concentrates on the possibilities of platonic friendship and is a candy-coated valentine to those of the baby-boomer generation.
Written and directed by NANCY MEYERS, the film is headlined by ANNE HATHAWAY (a welcome return to comedy) and ROBERT DeNIRO, in what is arguably his best comic performance since MIDNIGHT RUN.
During a Manhattan press conference this past weekend to promote the film, ANNE HATHAWAY was especially vocal in her praise of NANCY MEYERS. Despite (or maybe because of) this being their first collaboration, HATHAWAY was profuse in her praise of MEYERS. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)