During a young pianist’s conservatory audition, one of the judges—a famous concert musician (Frot)—signs an autograph for a pesky fan. The pupil’s concentration is broken; she refuses to tickle the ivories ever again. Years later, the grown-up girl (Franois) overhears her boss (Greggory) trying to wrangle a nanny for his son. She volunteers, moves in with the family...and guess who he’s married to. We’ll give you a hint: The matriarch has been known to play a Bach fugue now and again. And the hired help gets the opportunity to pay back a long-standing debt.
Once the stage is set for a showdown between this spurned Glenn Gould--ette and the screen’s most nervous spouse since Ingrid Bergman went fluttery over dimming lamps in Gaslight, you expect director Denis Dercourt to start adding the usual revenge tricks. Thankfully, he prefers the less-is-more psychological route, playing up the damage that slow-burning sapphic seduction can wreak on a repressed, unraveling woman (Eighth Notes on a Scandal, anyone?). Dercourt, however, is like a schlock Chabrol when it comes to tightening the screws; there’s little recognition of the difference between simmering suspense and sluggish pacing, a sure kiss of death for a thriller. (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.) — David Fear