The Girl on the Train (2016 film)

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The Girl on the Train
Film poster with the tagline, "what you see can hurt you"
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTate Taylor
Produced by
Screenplay byErin Cressida Wilson
Based onThe Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
Starring
Music byDanny Elfman
CinematographyCharlotte Bruus Christensen
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed byUniversal Pictures (Worldwide)
Mister Smith Entertainment[1] (EMEA)
Release date
‹See TfM›
Running time
112 minutes[2]
Country
  • United States
  • India
LanguageEnglish
Budget$45–50 million[3][4]
Box office$173.2 million[5]

The Girl on the Train is a 2016 American psychological thriller film directed by Tate Taylor and written by Erin Cressida Wilson, based on British author Paula Hawkins' popular 2015 debut novel of the same name. The film stars Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Édgar Ramírez, and Lisa Kudrow. The film follows an alcoholic divorcée named Rachel who becomes involved in a missing person's investigation.

Principal photography began on November 4, 2015, in New York City. Produced by Marc Platt and DreamWorks Pictures, The Girl on the Train was the first film to be distributed by Universal Pictures as part of DreamWorks' new distribution deal via the company Amblin Partners.[6]

The film premiered in London on September 20, 2016, before it was theatrically released in the United States on October 7, 2016.[7] The film was a box office success, grossing $173 million worldwide, but received mixed reviews. Blunt's performance received praise and gained a nomination at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, as well as a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 70th British Academy Film Awards.

Plot[edit]

Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) is an on-off recovering alcoholic who aimlessly rides a train into New York City every day after losing her job and her marriage. From the train, she fixates on the lives of her former husband Tom (Justin Theroux), his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), and their neighbours Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett); Megan worked for Tom and Anna as a nanny but had recently quit.

During her marriage to Tom, Rachel became depressed about her infertility and developed a drinking problem resulting in continual blackouts and destructive behaviour. At a barbecue held by Tom's boss, she drunkenly made a scene and Tom was later fired because of it. Now, while drunk, she often harasses Tom and Anna, calling them multiple times throughout the day, though she has little memory of this once she sobers up.

On the way home one afternoon, Rachel becomes infuriated when she spots Megan kissing a stranger. She goes to confront Megan but hours later wakes up in her bed, covered in blood. She later discovers Megan has disappeared, and Rachel is questioned by Detective Riley (Allison Janney) because she was seen in the vicinity that day. Rachel contacts Scott, posing as Megan's friend, to tell him about the affair. Scott shows her a picture of Megan's psychiatrist Dr. Kamal Abdic and Rachel identifies him as the man she saw kissing Megan. As a result, Abdic is questioned as a suspect but tells the police that Scott was emotionally abusive towards his wife, and suspicion shifts to him.

Megan is found murdered and tests reveal she was pregnant, but neither Scott nor Abdic was the father. Scott enters Rachel's house and aggressively confronts her for lying to him about knowing Megan, directing the police towards Abdic, and leaving him as the new suspect. Rachel tries to report the assault to the police, believing Scott's violence suggests he may have murdered Megan, but Riley says that he has been ruled out as a suspect as there is CCTV footage of him at a bar at the time.

On the train, Rachel sees Martha (Lisa Kudrow), the wife of Tom's former boss, and apologises for her behaviour at the barbecue where she believes she broke a platter, threw food, and insulted Martha. Martha says she did nothing wrong, and it is revealed Tom had been fired for having sex with co-workers. Rachel realises that Tom planted false memories in her head during her drinking binges, and was also violent toward her during her blackouts, which accounts for the injuries she had when she awoke. Meanwhile, Anna suspects Tom of cheating and secretly finds a cell phone hidden in their house; a voicemail reveals that the phone belonged to Megan.

A now sober Rachel remembers that on the day of her disappearance, she caught Megan meeting Tom, and he hit her when she tried to confront them. Realising that Tom killed Megan when she refused to abort his baby, Rachel warns Anna, who already knows. When both women confront Tom about his affair with Megan, he becomes angry, tries to force Rachel to drink alcohol again, throws the drink at her face, and then knocks her unconscious.

When Rachel awakens, she flees for the front door but it is locked. Tom tries to strangle her as Anna watches from the top of the stairs, guarding Evie. Rachel doubles back through the kitchen and picks up a corkscrew. Outside, Tom grabs her and, as she turns, she stabs him in the neck with the corkscrew. Anna then appears and twists it deeper into Tom's neck, killing him. Interviewed by Riley, Rachel and Anna tell identical stories about killing Tom in self-defense after he admitted that he was Megan's killer. Anna admits that Rachel had been right about everything.

Later, Rachel visits Megan's tombstone at a cemetery and states, "We are tied forever now, the three of us, bound forever by the story we shared." Later, she sits on the opposite side of the train, hopeful for a new life.

Cast[edit]

  • Emily Blunt as Rachel Watson, a lonely alcoholic, and Tom's ex-wife
  • Rebecca Ferguson as Anna Watson, a real-estate agent, and Tom's current wife
  • Haley Bennett as Megan Hipwell, Anna and Tom's nanny, and Scott's wife
  • Justin Theroux as Tom Watson, Rachel's ex-husband, and Anna's current husband
  • Luke Evans as Scott Hipwell, Megan's husband
  • Allison Janney as DS. Riley, a detective
  • Édgar Ramírez as Dr. Kamal Abdic, Megan's psychiatrist
  • Lisa Kudrow as Martha, the wife of Tom's former boss
  • Laura Prepon as Cathy, Rachel's college friend, roommate, and landlord
  • Darren Goldstein as Man in the Suit, a stranger who witnesses Rachel's behavior

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

DreamWorks Pictures acquired the film rights to Hawkins' novel and the film was planned for production by Marc E. Platt (through Marc Platt Productions) in March 2014.[8] In early 2015, Erin Cressida Wilson was hired to write the script[9] and Tate Taylor was hired to direct the film.[10] Hawkins told The Sunday Times that the film's setting would be moved from London to Westchester, New York.[11]

Casting[edit]

In June 2015, Emily Blunt was offered the title role, the lonely and alcoholic divorcee Rachel.[12] The studio had eyed Kate Mara for another of the three lead roles.[12] In August, Rebecca Ferguson was confirmed to play Anna and Haley Bennett was added to the cast to play the third female lead role, Megan.[13][14]

Jared Leto and Chris Evans were in talks to join the film, where Evans would play Tom, Rachel's ex-husband, and Leto would play the neighbor's husband.[15] However, Justin Theroux replaced Evans and Luke Evans replaced Leto, who both left the film due to scheduling issues.[16][17] In October, Édgar Ramírez joined the film to play Dr. Kamal Abdic, who is having an affair with the married Megan, and becomes a suspect in her disappearance.[18] Allison Janney also joined the cast to play a police detective.[19] The next month, Lisa Kudrow was cast as Martha, the wife of Tom's former boss.[20] Laura Prepon joined the cast as Cathy, the landlord, roommate, and college friend of Rachel Watson.[21]

Filming[edit]

A view of an ornate structure with railroad tracks and a modern elevated platform and metallic structure in the foreground
The Ardsley-on-Hudson Metro-North station, used for several scenes in the film

Principal photography on the film began on November 4, 2015, in New York City.[22] In late November 2015, filming also took place in White Plains,[23] as well as in Hastings-on-Hudson and Irvington, New York.[24] Filming wrapped up on January 30, 2016.[25]

Post-production[edit]

During post-production on the film, a cameo appearance by Paula Hawkins was cut from the film.[26]

Release[edit]

In November 2015, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures scheduled the film for an October 7, 2016, release through their Touchstone Pictures banner.[27][28][29]

The film was part of DreamWorks' distribution deal with Walt Disney Studios, which began in 2009. However, DreamWorks and Disney did not renew their distribution deal, and in December 2015, Universal Pictures acquired the film's distribution rights, as part of their new distribution deal with DreamWorks' parent company, Amblin Partners.[30]

Universal retained Disney's original release date.[7] Universal also distributed overseas, except in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where distribution was handled by Mister Smith Entertainment through other distributors.[28][1] Entertainment One released the film in the United Kingdom on October 5, 2016.[2]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The Girl on the Train grossed $75.4 million in the United States and Canada and $97.8 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $173.2 million, against a production budget of $45 million.[5]

In the United States and Canada, the film was projected to gross around $25–30 million in its opening weekend, with some having it opening to as low as $18 million. The film was expected to play like the similarly themed Gone Girl, which opened to $37.5 million in October 2014, although that film had more star power to carry it.[31][32] It went on to gross $24.5 million in its opening weekend, finishing first at the box office.[33] In its second weekend it grossed $12 million, finishing third at the box office.[34]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 44% based on 304 reviews, with an average rating of 5.29/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Emily Blunt's outstanding performance isn't enough to keep The Girl on the Train from sliding sluggishly into exploitative melodrama."[35] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 48 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[36] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale.[33]

IGN critic Terri Schwartz gave the film a score of 5.5/10, writing: "The Girl on the Train has a talented cast, but ultimately squanders it for the sake of a hollow, ponderous plot. Alternately overly convoluted and predictable, the film relies too heavily on its twists while offering little in the way of character development, leaving its three central women as unrelatable and unlikable stereotypes."[37] Rolling Stone's Peter Travers gave the film a positive review, commenting that: "[T]he movie gives away the game faster than the novel, but Emily Blunt digs so deep into the role of a blackout drunk and maybe murderer that she raises Girl to the level of spellbinder."[38]

Chicago Sun-Times' Richard Roeper gave 2 stars out 4, and said that the film is "shiny trash that begins with promise but quickly gets tripped up by its own screenplay and grows increasingly ludicrous and melodramatic, to the point where I was barely able to suppress a chuckle at some of the final scenes".[39] Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com gave 1½ stars out of 4, and described the film as, "a flat and suspense-free tale of pretty people in peril".[40]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref.
British Academy Film Awards February 12, 2017 Best Actress in a Leading Role Emily Blunt Nominated [41]
Hollywood Film Awards November 6, 2016 Hollywood Producer Award Marc Platt (also for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and La La Land) Won [42]
Location Managers Guild Awards April 8, 2017 Outstanding Film Commission Award New York State Governor's Office of Motion Picture Development Nominated [43]
Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild February 19, 2017 Feature-Length Motion Picture – Contemporary Hair Styling Alan D'Angerio Nominated [44]
People's Choice Awards January 18, 2017 Favorite Thriller Movie The Girl on the Train Won [45]
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Thriller Film The Girl on the Train Nominated [46]
Best Actress Emily Blunt Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards January 29, 2017 Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Emily Blunt Nominated [47]

Remake[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McNary, Dave (November 4, 2016). "AFM: Mister Smith Pacts Power its Picture Pipeline". Variety. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b "THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (15)". British Board of Film Classification. September 13, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  3. ^ "2016 Feature Film Study" (PDF). FilmL.A. Feature Film Study. Film L.A.: Page 25 May 23, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  4. ^ "Film Tax Credit – Quarterly Report Calendar Year 2017: Second Quarter" (PDF). Empire State Development. June 30, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "The Girl on the Train (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  6. ^ Pamela McClintock; Gregg Kilday (December 16, 2015). "Steven Spielberg, Jeff Skoll Team to Form Ambling Partners, Strike Distribution Deal With Universal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  7. ^ a b McNary, Dave (December 16, 2015). "Universal Boards Emily Blunt's 'Girl on the Train'". Variety. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  8. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 24, 2014). "DreamWorks Acquires Novel 'The Girl on the Train' for Marc Platt". variety.com. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  9. ^ Jaafar, Ali (January 13, 2015). "Erin Cressida Wilson Boards 'Girl On The Train' For Marc Platt & Dreamworks". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Kit, Borys (May 21, 2015). "Tate Taylor to Direct 'The Girl on the Train' for DreamWorks". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  11. ^ Brooks, Richard (July 11, 2015). "Hollywood shunts British bestseller over to New York". thesundaytimes.co.uk. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (June 4, 2015). "Emily Blunt in Talks to Star in Tate Taylor's 'The Girl on the Train' for DreamWorks". thewrap.com. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  13. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (August 18, 2015). "'Mission: Impossible's Rebecca Ferguson Catches 'The Girl On The Train'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  14. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (August 24, 2015). "Haley Bennett Lands Lead In 'The Girl On The Train'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  15. ^ Kit, Borys (September 21, 2015). "Jared Leto, Chris Evans Circling 'The Girl on the Train'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  16. ^ Kit, Borys; Ford, Rebecca (October 27, 2015). "Justin Theroux in Talks to Board 'Girl on the Train'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  17. ^ Kit, Borys (November 4, 2015). "Luke Evans Lands Key Role in DreamWorks' 'The Girl on the Train'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  18. ^ Patten, Dominic (October 22, 2015). "Edgar Ramirez In Talks To Join 'The Girl On The Train'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
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  20. ^ Kit, Borys (November 3, 2015). "Lisa Kudrow Joins 'The Girl on the Train'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  21. ^ Patten, Dominic (January 7, 2016). "'Girl On The Train' Adds 'Orange Is The New Black's Laura Prepon". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  22. ^ "On the Set for 11/6/15: Emily Blunt and Luke Evans Start 'Girl on the Train', Brad Pitt Wraps 'Lost City of Z'". ssninsider.com. November 6, 2015. Archived from the original on June 10, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  23. ^ "'The Girl on the Train', starring Emily Blunt, filming locations in White Plains, NY". onlocationvacations.com. November 19, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  24. ^ Branch, Alfred (January 6, 2016). "'The Girl on the Train' Continues Film Shoot in Irvington". Patch. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  25. ^ "On the Set for 1/29/16: Danny Glover Starts on 'The Good Catholic', Emily Blunt and Luke Evans Wrap 'Girl on the Train'". SSN Insider. January 29, 2016. Archived from the original on June 11, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  26. ^ Biedenharn, Isabella (August 25, 2016). "The Girl on the Train: Why Paula Hawkins didn't want to write the screenplay". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  27. ^ Gettel, Oliver (October 27, 2015). "The Girl on the Train with Emily Blunt set for fall 2016 release". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  28. ^ a b Mendelson, Scott (October 28, 2015). "Disney Pits Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson Thriller 'Girl On The Train' Vs. Channing Tatum's 'Gambit'". Forbes. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  29. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 27, 2015). "'The Girl On The Train' Sets Arrival Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  30. ^ Pamela McClintock; Gregg Kilday (December 16, 2015). "Steven Spielberg, Jeff Skoll Team to Form Amblin Partners, Strike Distribution Deal With Universal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  31. ^ Anthony D'Alessandro (August 29, 2016). "Forget About Summer & Sequelitis: Will Fall's Crowded Pipeline Cannibalize B.O.? – Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
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  33. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 10, 2016). "Hurricane Matthew Doesn't Slow 'Girl On The Train', But Overall Ticket Sales Lower Than Jonas; Controversy Conquers 'Nation'". Deadline Hollywood.
  34. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 17, 2016). "'The Accountant' Calculates $24.7M Opening; 'Max Steel' Rusts". Deadline Hollywood.
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  36. ^ "The Girl on the Train Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  37. ^ Schwartz, Terri (October 5, 2016). "The Girl on the Train Review". IGN. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  38. ^ Travers, Peter (October 4, 2016). "'Girl on the Train' Review: Emily Blunt Powers Sex-Lies-and-Murder Mystery". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  39. ^ "'The Girl on the Train': Ludicrous thriller goes off the rails". Chicago Sun-Times. October 5, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  40. ^ Lemire, Christy (October 7, 2016). "The Girl on the Train". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  41. ^ Ritman, Alex (January 9, 2017). "BAFTA Awards: 'La La Land' Leads Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  42. ^ "Tom Ford, Marc Platt & Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored". Hollywood Film Awards. October 19, 2016. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  43. ^ Petski, Denise. "'Hidden Figures', 'La La Land' Among Location Managers Guild Award Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  44. ^ Petski, Denise (2017-01-11). "'Fantastic Beasts', 'La La Land' Among Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards Nominees". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  45. ^ "People's Choice Awards Nominees 2017 — Full List". Deadline Hollywood. November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  46. ^ McNary, Dave (March 2, 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  47. ^ "SAG Awards 2017: The Complete List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. December 14, 2016. Retrieved December 14, 2016.

External links[edit]