The Page Turner (15)

Film

Drama

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Time Out says

Tue Oct 31 2006

Denis Dercourt’s stylish, subtle and highly assured film is a pleasingly suspenseful psychological drama in the style of Hitchcock or early Chabrol. Déborah François plays Mélanie, the smalltown butcher’s daughter whose ambitions as a pianist were dashed during a childhood audition for the Conservatory when one of the jurors, famous concert pianist Ariane Fouchécourt (Catherine Frot), distracted her by signing an autograph. A decade after this unwitting but fateful slight, shy, quiet Mélanie happens to find herself working as an intern for the law firm owned by Fouchécourt’s husband Jean (Pascal Greggory). Her diligence and dependability lead him to hire her as a governess to his son, and soon enough she’s firmly ensconced in their home and helping out as Ariane’s page-turner as the pianist prepares for a big comeback concert. Is Mélanie plotting revenge? Nursing a crush – and if so, on whom? Or is she merely hoping to bask in some reflected glory?

Dercourt’s cool, extremely elegant and often witty film remains admirably ambiguous until the very final scenes, and even then the script wisely foregoes tying up too many loose ends. It’s a meticulous piece of work, beautifully shot by Jérôme Peyrebrune, and assembled with a proper understanding of music and the important role it can play in people’s lives. In building both narrative tension and psychological resonance, Dercourt is helped no end by the excellent performances, most particularly that of young François, quite superb in only her second movie after an excellent (but very different) debut role in the Dardennes’ ‘The Child’.
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LiveReviews|18
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Javier Gorostiza

Wonderfoul surprise. I saw it on late night tv movie it was an out of the blue surprise. Good , very good in every sense. My question is , why not more of that kind of 'foreign' movies on tv and less of that well known american rubbish that inundate the programs?

Javier Gorostiza

Wonderfoul surprise. I saw it on late night tv movie it was an out of the blue surprise. Good , very good in every sense. My question is , why not more of that kind of 'foreign' movies on tv and less of that well known american rubbish that inundate the programs?

Joanna

i saw this movie on film4 last night, and i found it riveting. i'm only 15 but i was so captured by the performances and music played thoughout and it was just great. i am a pianist myself and can totally relate to what the character must've felt. good ending i thought, you dont really see it coming at all, but you notice the tension and the relationship forming between the two women. i liked the way hardly any diologue was needed, just the simplest of phrases was used throughout which usually i would've found boring but it was perfect in this peice. i would recommend it.

Joanna

i saw this movie on film4 last night, and i found it riveting. i'm only 15 but i was so captured by the performances and music played thoughout and it was just great. i am a pianist myself and can totally relate to what the character must've felt. good ending i thought, you dont really see it coming at all, but you notice the tension and the relationship forming between the two women. i liked the way hardly any diologue was needed, just the simplest of phrases was used throughout which usually i would've found boring but it was perfect in this peice. i would recommend it.

usman khawaja

a calm assured poetic rendition of a vengeance executed with immense style between an older assured successful woman and her younger quieter counterpart who is a past victim , she meticulously and coldly calculates a sophisticated plan to seek justice for a past misdemeanour , the script is the height of sophistication and the performances so subtle that you hardly need to read the subtitles as the expressions and the cinematic language is sufficient to portray every slight innuendo and situation . the analogy of the piano as a metaphor for blind justice with the superb orchestrastion of the various sonatas is magical but it really is a triumph for deborah francois who is avenging herself on catherine blot with a cold smile and an enchanting attitude which endears her to both blot and her husband and son ,both of whom are totally controlled by the character blot plays as mother and wife and yet the page turner deborah as melanie is able to shift the balance of power to herself in a nuanced enigmatic turn from the 10 year old tearful piano student reject to the totally confident woman who walks away in the finale . denis dercourt has shown how powerful the cinematic medium can be when used with the proper orchesrtation and he is perfect in every sequence from the piano concerts to the hide and seek games in the gardens of the country mansion where the four characters involve in an emotional dramatic game of musical chairs with the piano as the culprit .. every little detail is manifest in the actions of the characters who are all conceived with a most mystical demeanour and the taut poetic narrative is both lurid yet obsure as it propels itself to one of the most amazingly satisfying movies ever made about a musical or poetic revenge . i adore the mutual exploitation of the two main female characters and their interaction in a gameplan which fulfills the emotional promise of the great musical score bringing the drama in harmony with the musical magnificence in total harmony .

usman khawaja

a calm assured poetic rendition of a vengeance executed with immense style between an older assured successful woman and her younger quieter counterpart who is a past victim , she meticulously and coldly calculates a sophisticated plan to seek justice for a past misdemeanour , the script is the height of sophistication and the performances so subtle that you hardly need to read the subtitles as the expressions and the cinematic language is sufficient to portray every slight innuendo and situation . the analogy of the piano as a metaphor for blind justice with the superb orchestrastion of the various sonatas is magical but it really is a triumph for deborah francois who is avenging herself on catherine blot with a cold smile and an enchanting attitude which endears her to both blot and her husband and son ,both of whom are totally controlled by the character blot plays as mother and wife and yet the page turner deborah as melanie is able to shift the balance of power to herself in a nuanced enigmatic turn from the 10 year old tearful piano student reject to the totally confident woman who walks away in the finale . denis dercourt has shown how powerful the cinematic medium can be when used with the proper orchesrtation and he is perfect in every sequence from the piano concerts to the hide and seek games in the gardens of the country mansion where the four characters involve in an emotional dramatic game of musical chairs with the piano as the culprit .. every little detail is manifest in the actions of the characters who are all conceived with a most mystical demeanour and the taut poetic narrative is both lurid yet obsure as it propels itself to one of the most amazingly satisfying movies ever made about a musical or poetic revenge . i adore the mutual exploitation of the two main female characters and their interaction in a gameplan which fulfills the emotional promise of the great musical score bringing the drama in harmony with the musical magnificence in total harmony .

Leslie

I thought this movie was amazing and as a musician, I was riveted and could identify with the young girl's disappointment, the rudeness of the autograph signing during the audition, the distraction, the stage fright, and the importance of a page turner. I can see though that if one doesn't intimately understand music, it might not be of interest but the story is an intricately woven web of coincidence and chance. One of the best foreign films I've seen (and at least it actually had an ending).

Leslie

I thought this movie was amazing and as a musician, I was riveted and could identify with the young girl's disappointment, the rudeness of the autograph signing during the audition, the distraction, the stage fright, and the importance of a page turner. I can see though that if one doesn't intimately understand music, it might not be of interest but the story is an intricately woven web of coincidence and chance. One of the best foreign films I've seen (and at least it actually had an ending).

Susan Alldred-Lugton

Revenge is sweet in this stylish,elegant and supense filled thriller The actors convey with the subtlest of expression words that then, no need to be expressedd.Yook my 85 year old movie a f9ormer vioin player She loved it and we would both recommend it as one of the best of the year

Susan Alldred-Lugton

Revenge is sweet in this stylish,elegant and supense filled thriller The actors convey with the subtlest of expression words that then, no need to be expressedd.Yook my 85 year old movie a f9ormer vioin player She loved it and we would both recommend it as one of the best of the year

Asaf

This film was absolutely beautiful. I too, like Veronika's post was wondering what Melanie would do! Six out of six stars.

Asaf

This film was absolutely beautiful. I too, like Veronika's post was wondering what Melanie would do! Six out of six stars.

sealy

i trhought it was boring and didnt understnad what was going on most of the time, and now i have to write a essay on it ahhhhhhhhhh

veronika

this film is haunting and the music (i am a musician myself) is wonderful. the "pairing" of Frot and Francois is superb. the vulnerable "older" woman falls for the affection of melanie. seductive and fascinating movie. i was at the edge of my seat wondering what melanie's next move is. at the end - all seems to be destroid. in a way i felt sad that ariane was "treated" like this.

veronika

this film is haunting and the music (i am a musician myself) is wonderful. the "pairing" of Frot and Francois is superb. the vulnerable "older" woman falls for the affection of melanie. seductive and fascinating movie. i was at the edge of my seat wondering what melanie's next move is. at the end - all seems to be destroid. in a way i felt sad that ariane was "treated" like this.