The Man on the Train

Director: Patrice Leconte
Year Released: 2002
Rating: 1.5

A retired schoolteacher inexplicably invites a scruffy stranger - who looks like a cross between an older Vincent Gallo and Sean Penn in Dead Man Walking - to live with him after meeting him in a drug store, and they become unlikely compatriots. There isn't much of a plot, leaving us with the garrulous schoolteacher to recite poetry and act as the film's "Andre" while the criminal is its Wallace Shawn, sitting and listening and grumbling. The picture contemplates - in a rather facile manner - the idea of fate and destiny, and arrives at its spiritual coda without having earned it - it's a work of shallowness from a normally complex director.