The Page Turner La Tourneuse de pages (France / 2006)
Directed by Denis Dercourt
Starring Dborah Franois (LEnfant), Catherine Frot (Trilogy: One, Two, Three)
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
Mlanie Prouvost, a gifted child pianist fails an exam due to the inattentiveness of one of her judges, renowned concert pianist Ariane Fouchcourt (Catherine Frot) who thinks nothing of signing autographs for fans rather than giving her full attention to the matter in hand. The failure obviously has a devastating effect on the young Mlanie, after returning home, she locks the piano and never plays it again.
Years later Melanie (Dborah Franois) accepts the post of baby sitter at her wealthy employers house, once there she realises its also the home of Ariane, now an anxiety ridden character after a recent car accident, increasingly desperate to prove herself as the star she once was. Mlanie ingratiates herself into the household and becomes particularly indispensable to Ariane herself, her musical knowledge making her perfect in the role of page-turner, she also becomes her friend and confidante.
Why would she willingly go to all this effort for somebody she still harbours a deep resentment towards? For a sweet, calculating and ice cold revenge! To take from Ariane what she feels has been stolen from her. The retribution doesnt begin and end with the proposed ruination of Arianes musical career, no; Mlanie Prouvost is taking this all the way, the total annihilation of every aspect of Ariane Fouchcourts life!
Excellent performances from the two leads in this simmering tale of brooding, obsessive albeit suppressed resentment, a palpable tension is gradually built by the interplay of the characters and the finale is all the more potent for its lack of disclosure. A subtle thriller that could sit quite happily with the works of Chabrol and a performance from Dborah Franois that is reminiscent of a young Isabelle Huppert.
Along with the great performances, the camerawork is never less than interesting and the editing is suitably taut. Exquisite soundtrack and highly enjoyable musical performances throughout. The film does suffer slightly from one highly theatrical and implausable moment of violence but is never the less a suspenseful drama that is definitely worth seeing..
I first saw this on its far too limited theatrical release and now have the dvd from Artificial Eye but havent had the time to check out the extras yet which mostly consist of a making of and interviews, more on these later.
BBFC rated 15.