By Tom Charity from LOVEFiLM
This acclaimed and emotionally taut thriller stars Deborah Francois as Melanie, a young woman whose love of music turns into a passion for revenge.
Most helpful review
The Page TurnerBy SAI81 (360 reviews) from Tonbridge , 02 Dec 2006
[Highly rated reviewer]At 10 Melanie (Played as an 18 year old by Francois) is a gifted pianist. She goes to take a piano exam and is doing fine until an autograph hunter comes into the room to get a signiature from one examiner (Frot) and Melaine's performance comes to a halt. Her concentration blown she messes up on restarting an fails the exam, then promptly gives up piano.
At 18 Melanie is working for a lawyer (Greggory) when she discovers he needs an au pair for a month she asks for the job and is promptly hired. On arriving she finds that the Ariane, lawyer's wife, is the very examiner who threw her confidence years ago. Ariane and her trio are working up to a hugely important concert and Ariane needs a page turner, when she finds that Melanie can read music she enlists her as turner for the concert.
I have to be careful what I say here because anything I reveal about this film risks spoiling its twists and turns so there will be no further talk of plot.
The premise of The Page Turner hardly seems like the recipe for a taut thriller but don't let that decieve you. There may be little actually happening most of the time but this only lets Dercourt create a chilling atmosphere and play with your imaginings of the possibilities. He takes Hitchcock's maxim that the recipe for thrills is to give the audience more knowledge than the characters and certainly the fact that you know who Melanie is while Ariane does not is a cornerstone of the film.
What takes this beyond an efficent aping of directors like Hitchcock, Chabrol and, more recently, Michael Haneke is the extraordinary cast.
Deborah Francois, just 19 years old, is a revelation. With her long blonde hair, penetrating eyes and cut glass beauty her look is tailor made for a Hitchcock film but it's her acting that impresses most. She gives a beautifully subtle performance which will have you pondering throughout the film, and perhaps beyond the closing credits, what the character's true feelings are and how much of what transpires was planned.
Francois is matched by an excellent Catherine Frot, giving a restrained performance in a role that could easily have slipped into histrionics. Pascal Greggory, though a little sidelined by the plot, is also strong.
Dercourt sets a stately pace but tempers it with the odd shock. There's just one instance of violence, brief but painful (though not explcit) it will elicit gasps from any audience. By setting his film up like this Dercourt makes the whole thing hum with tension.
The Page Turner is what I love best about cinema. Every now and then something you had no expectations for (I almost went to something else instead) will sneak up on you and proceed to blow you away, this is that rare film
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Delightfully unnerving tale about a grudgeBy mj55 (171 reviews) , 01 Oct 2013Excellent performances - especially from Deborah Francois - make this an unnerving movie. Melanie's cold malevolence is almost always just visible in her eyes. There is an almost constant sense of threat - an uneasy atmosphere. The movie does meander a little but it's worth sticking with for the ending.
I wouldn't want Melanie as my babysitter!By Feelgood-filmgoer (20 reviews) , 12 Sep 2013Melanie showed very little emotion throughout and this gave the film a very spooky feel. However, the conclusion was not as traumatic as I had been fearing, all the threads wove beautifully into a very clever and well planned ending which we thoroughly enjoyed. note: we don't 'do' violent or scary films!
The quite ones are the most dangerousBy a customer from Hertfordshire , 12 Jun 2012No over-the-top revenge; no gratuitous violence; just the cold, systematic introduction of quiet chaos and demise. Brilliantly understated.
Revenge is a dish best served coldBy Panna (65 reviews) from Gloucestershire , 14 Apr 2012This film is as subtle as the Chinese proverb 'a wise man sits on the riverbank and waits for the bodies of his enemies to float by'.
I rented The Page Turner hoping for an entertaining film, but I got something else entirely, and it's that gentle eureka moment that makes me love films so much.
This is one that will stay with me for a while as I mull over the possibilites of whether it was planned or a coincidence. Watch it and see for yourself. I think it was planned............
Single White Female for the arthouse setBy a customer , 15 Nov 2011
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideSingle White Female for the French and pretentious. Still shots where characters give each other knowing looks.
*spoiler alert* I was not convinced that the protagonist would turn bad just because of a failed piano exam. Why doesn't she take up another hobby? Chess-playing? Tennis? Lacrosse? Instead she nurses the grudge and plots an elaborate revenge for a childhood setback.