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Moviegoers love their murder mysteries, particularly those culled from best-selling beach-read novels. Two years ago, audiences flocked to see Ben Affleck squirm through the twisty Gone Girl. Later this year, Emily Blunt looks to face some difficult questions in playing The Girl On The Train. The movie’s first trailer just dropped. See it now:
Published in 2015 and penned by Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train centers on a 32-year-old woman named Rachel Watson who believes she witnesses a crime. A woman, who Rachel has been spying on daily via her train commute into London, has gone missing. And Rachel "thinks" she saw what happened. Only, she’s an alcoholic, and her own spotty memory is being called into question by the lead investigator in the case (played by Allison Janney).
What’s sexy about all of this? There’s a definite erotic quality to the footage shot by The Girl On The Train director Tate Taylor, who posits that the woman Rachel has been spying on, Megan (Haley Bennett), is caught up in an illicit affair. She is married to Scott (Luke Evans), but has been spotted with Tom (Justin Theroux). There’s clearly a lot going on behind the scenes here, and it doesn’t help that the witness to a major crime is a blind drunk with deep emotional problems.
This material seems out of the comfort zone of Tate Taylor, a director who previous credits include The Help and the musical biopic Get On Up. But any time a director attempts to stretch themselves, we’re supportive. Emily Blunt, meanwhile, has been risking in versatile roles for years now, and we’re glad to see her get a complicated, dramatic part to sink her teeth into. That final shot of Rachel, with the single tear streaking down her face, is haunting. And Blunt has a fantastic cast off which to play in The Girl On The Train, from Janney, Evans and Theroux to Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation), Laura Prepon, Lisa Kudrow and Edgar Ramirez (Joy).
Universal is giving The Girl on the Train a prime release date of October 7, which positions it for a possible Oscar run, if the material plays in that direction. If that’s the studio’s goal, you may see The Girl on the Train playing a few of the key fall film festivals, from Toronto or Telluride to New York… much the way Gone Girl did, on its way to one Oscar nomination. Time will tell.