By Dylan Jones
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Nicole Kidman! Emily Blunt has proven she’s not only capable of smirking her way icily around offices (Devil Wears Prada
) and rocketing herself full-throttle into dystopic sci-fi (Edge Of Tomorrow
), but also staring, stuttering and screaming her way through that most prolific of productions from the Nicole Kidman School Of Acting – the melodrama!
Oh, and The Girl On The Train
is the epitome of melodrama. In fact, it’s knit-your-own-melodrama (small parts sold separately). It’s got the chilling piano music paired with the sighing violins. It’s got the big wooden house by the lake. It’s got the moonlit puddles. It’s got the misty reed beds. It’s got the breathy voiceovers. But that’s the problem. There’s nothing new here. We’ve seen this milieu a thousand times before – wooden house, mist, chuck in some jealousy, an abortion twenty years ago, a Naomi Watts here, a Julianne Moore there, and boom, melodrama.
There was absolutely nothing new about The Girl On The Train
. It won’t “shock the world” as its ambitiously self-righteous posters and trailer promise. To be fair, it’s an absolute stonker of a trailer. Emily Blunt running around looking lost and introspective to a soundtrack of Kanye West’s “Heartless” is bound to get bums in seats at Holloway Road Odean. It certainly got MY bum in a seat.
In case you don’t know, here’s the premise: Emily Blunt plays the lonely, alcoholic Rachel, who’s gradually becoming more unhinged with every passing martini. Her ex husband Tom (an always smarmy Justin Theroux) is happily remarried to new wife Anna, played by Rebecca Ferguson – not the X Factor one, a different one, who does a respectable turn as a jealous and manipulative wife (again, melodrama paint by numbers). They have a baby together. Rachel watches their house every morning from the train, dreaming of a life that could have been *insert gif of Lucille Bluth rolling her eyes*.
In the house next door, also visible from the train, lives what Rachel sees as the perfect couple. “I used to watch this perfect couple…” she sighs in the trailer. Megan is the beautiful young wife, played by Haley Bennett, who’s like Jennifer Lawrence crossed with Blake Lively. She forgot to go to acting school. And then. OH. OH YES. The husband Scott is played by Luke Evans, who, trust me, is rectum-twitchingly sexy. In his first scene, he walks into the kitchen in nothing but a pair of grey joggers, bends Megan over, and fucks her on the kitchen table. YES, YES, YES. He’s also, allegedly, one of ours (a gay). Smouldering sex appeal aside, he’s good in it. Intense and scary.
But it’s Emily Blunt who truly stands out. She’s totally involved in her character. With cracked lips and wide eyes, she’s totally convincing, totally damaged. Also, it’s a widely acknowledged fact that one of the hardest things for actors to do is convincingly play drunk, but she does so with devastatingly depressing accuracy. There’s a scene of her swaying in front of the mirror in the bathroom of a bar which brought things a bit too close to home! We’ve all been there haven’t we.
It’s just such a shame that Emily’s premier league acting was put against such an underwhelming backdrop. I really wanted to like this film. But it just didn’t cut it. It was nicely shot, and very sexy, but the sexiness actually got annoying after a while. It was too Hollywood. There was too much flouncing around in negligees. Like, people don’t actually do that (except Vanity Von Glow, she actually does do that).
It was also just one cliché after another. And it was confusing. At the time of making they probably thought the constant flashbacks, vague blurry shots and misty settings would make it beguiling and mysterious, but the end result is just annoying. It’s ponderous, taking way too much time on obvious aspects of the story, and not paying enough attention to more interesting aspects. That said though, it’s got an absolute corker of an ending, involving a scene with a corkscrew that’s to die for.
It’s not a terrible movie though, it’s just forgettable. Don’t pay to see it in the cinema. Wait until it comes out on streaming services, then watch it at home on a rainy Sunday with a bottle of wine and some Kettle Chips. And have a wank over Luke Evans. It’s that sort of movie.
The Girl On The Train is out now.
Alternative Miss World Afterparty
‘Do you own anything neon?’
‘Can you dance?’
‘Can you create a fabulous neon costume and perform a dance to a song from Sesame Street on stage on Saturday?’
This was Thursday.
‘I’ll give it a go.’
When you’re asked to perform at the Alternative Miss World afterparty, you don’t say no.
You know when you hear that two artists you love are collaborating and can’t wait to hear the outcome?
Gran Canaria Pride 2014
Having been four years since our last trip to GC Pride, the island of broken hearts and damaged holes was long overdue a return visit. For those of you that haven’t been before, the Yumbo Centre is basically G-A-Y on heat… It’s a feckin’ riot. So we wondered how much things had changed since we last went mincing around Maspalomas in little more than a Snapback.