Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Train' Takes a Traditional Path

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Train' Takes a Traditional Path

Article excerpt

Plenty of European filmmakers envy Hollywood's flair for action, special effects, and eye-filling fantasy. But some are holding the line for more traditional values, focusing on real human interests conveyed by sensitive acting and subtle cinematography.

For an engaging example of this old-school approach, see "Man on the Train," directed by Patrice Leconte, one of France's most respected filmmakers.

The heroes are aging men played by Jean Rochefort, a venerable French star, and Johnny Hallyday, a pop icon whose decades-long career refuses to quit.

If this were an American movie, like the typical Robert Redford or Woody Allen vehicle, these craggy-faced senior citizens would be strutting their stuff, cruising the singles scene, and romancing women who were born around the time they got their first Oscar nominations.

French cineastes are more grown-up about such matters, though, so Mr. Rochefort and Mr. Hallyday are maturing gracefully. Their characters in "Man on the Train" aren't exactly everyday gents, but they have the virtue of acting their age. …

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