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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars suspense with music
Young melanie fails a piano exam and never plays again. The woman who fails her is a well-known but neurotic pianist married to a sucessful lawyer. Ten years later Melanie insinuates herself into her husband's officeand then into her family home and is invited to turn pages for an important concert by her trio. The superficially shrinking violet uses her immense sexual...
Published on 28 April 2007 by P. C. Reynell

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling with a holey plot
The French do subtle. If this has been a Hollywood film, then Maleanie (whose childhood piano audition had been ruined by a thoughtless interuption by a piano diva) would have blown the house up in a pyrotechnic extravaganza; hacked the diva's bank account and planted evidence that she was a notorious criminal. As it was, this film kept you guessing for the first two...
Published on 17 Dec 2010 by Robert


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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars suspense with music, 28 April 2007
By 
P. C. Reynell (Bradford UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Page Turner [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
Young melanie fails a piano exam and never plays again. The woman who fails her is a well-known but neurotic pianist married to a sucessful lawyer. Ten years later Melanie insinuates herself into her husband's officeand then into her family home and is invited to turn pages for an important concert by her trio. The superficially shrinking violet uses her immense sexual power to destroy both family and trio. Apart from the two set trios, the music ic specially composed and is so skilfully integrated into the film that one is hardly conscious of it but together with the restrained acting of the principals it sustains the underlying tension and menace throughout. A subtle and intriguing film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good on atmosphere, 21 Jun 2012
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Page Turner [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
The central performances in this film have a wonderful poise and the whole thing gleams with a Hitchcockian tension, perhaps a little like Rebecca in its focus on a large house with three, or possibly four principal players, depending on how you look at it in both cases. The lesbianism hinted at in that film is much more overtly piquant here, although it could hardly outdo the Mrs Danvers role ... I found the film quite gripping but inevitably a bit of a let-down at the end. But then I wonder whether the plot isn't a pretext for elegance and atmosphere of a highly cinematic kind, and that's really it, rather like certain films by Chabrol. Catherine Frot is memorable as the pianist, even if not particularly likeable. She evokes a complex response in her slightly imperious vulnerability in a way that is fascinating, and if the film were a bit larger in scope one might say it is really one of the outstanding screen performances of recent years. Her face is just so telling. The contrast with Deborah Francois, whose face is fixed in an enigmatic kind of focus and unnerving self-possession, could hardly be better exploited. In the end it's undone by the very thing that makes it work, namely its tension and arrow-like development, so typical of the thriller genre in general, and ultimately robbing it of a fuller human dimension.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine, unsettling movie that makes us assume the worst may -- or may not -- happen, 29 May 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Page Turner [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
Twelve-year-old Melanie Prouvost is determined to become a world-class pianist. She practices with a single-mindedness which is daunting. She arrives with her mother at a conservatory where she will perform a difficult piece before a panel of judges. Many other children are competing. If she wins, her chances for a wonderful career will lie in front of her. As she takes her place at the piano and begins, one of the judges, a famous concert pianist, motions in a fan who wants an autograph. The judge whispers something, takes out a pen, thinks a moment, writes on the photo and returns it to the fan. Melanie's concentration is broken. She stops, tries to recover and performs badly. Afterwards, the judge simply comments that there was no reason for Melanie to stop. On the way out of the conservatory, Melanie suddenly pushes down the key cover on a piano when another girl is practicing, nearly crushing the girl's fingers. Melanie arrives home and locks her piano for good.

Several years later, Melanie (Deborah François), now a striking young woman, applies for and is accepted as an intern in a law office. She learns a senior partner needs someone to look after his young son while he is away for several weeks on business. His wife works and cannot always be available. When Melanie says she'd happily look after the boy, she is accepted. And when she arrives at the country manor, 25 miles outside Paris, we learn that the mother was in an auto accident and is still emotionally fragile. The woman, Ariane Fouchecourt (Catherine Frot), indeed works. She is a world-class pianist who now performs as part of a trio. And, yes, she was the judge who so thoughtlessly ruined Melanie's life ambition. She doesn't even remember the incident. Now we realize Melanie remembers all too well.

All along we've noted how quiet Melanie is. She observes; sometimes there will be the smallest of smiles. Melanie becomes almost indispensable to Ariane, who suffers stage fright now. Melanie becomes her page turner, the person who sits next to a pianist and turns the pages of the score as the pianist plays on. She begins to give Ariane confidence. We're not sure where the movie is heading. All we know is that a number of uneasy things happen that could be explained away. Melanie gains the confidence of Tristan, the boy, but twice seems to place him in positions of peril that don't quite happen. She opens some letters and smiles just a bit, but we're not sure why. She subtly seems to be almost wooing Ariane, yet shows no particular interest. We remember Melanie is the daughter of butchers and know she must be familiar with slicing into meat. Does this mean we'll soon be watching her turn Tristan into lamb chops? The movie keeps us off balance. While it's possible that at some point we'll realize that Melanie still loves the piano and we may end with her giving Ariane back confidence while Ariane decides to work with Melanie on a career for her, we also realize that the movie just might end the way Claude Chabrol's La Cérémonie does, with a slaughter fired by resentment and rage.

No one dies in this movie, just the soul of one of the characters. The Page Turner is a not-quite-a-thriller thriller, and is all the more disturbing because of it. François and Frot give marvelous performances, with François unnervingly calm and Frot fragile to a fault. This was only Deborah François' second movie. At 19, she almost out-Hupperts Isabelle Huppert.

There is some great music in the movie. The trio, with Melanie as the page turner for Ariane, does a rehearsal of Shostakovich's opus 67, trio in E minor. It's terrific. The Page Turner is almost as good at keeping us off balance.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revenge is Sweet, 7 April 2007
By 
MICHAEL ACUNA (Southern California United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Page Turner [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
Tight as a clenched fist ready to bloody someone's eye, intelligent, crystal clear in its intentions and actions, Denis Dercourt's terrific "The Page Turner" is wicked, perverse and anti-social in the very best sense. Like the best anti-heroes, Melanie Prouvost (a chilly, single-minded, Deborah Francois) knows what she wants, knows what/who her target is and knows how to achieve her goals. And in this case her target is the famous, though emotionally and professionally fragile classical pianist, Ariane Fouchecourt (sexy, sophisticated, sleek, tragic Catherine Frot) and by extension Ariane's family: husband Jean (Pascal Greggory) and her son, also a pianist, Laurent.
Melanie is out for total annihilation and her methods are as subtle as a Cobra ingesting defenseless small birds: there is no way that her prey can escape.
Director/Screenwriter Dercourt has fashioned a film that is tightly paced (a mere 134 minutes, not one ounce of fat here) and expertly acted but what is particularly impressive in its humanity and its knowing appreciation of the workings of the human mind is the reason, the impetus for Melanie's campaign against Ariane.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A succinct little treat, 18 April 2007
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This review is from: The Page Turner [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
The Page Turner is a wonderful little film.

At just over 80 minutes, the plot is as simple or as complex as the viewer wants, depending on how much you read into it.

A very atmospheric fantastic revenge drama, with perfectly measured performances from the two lead actresses, and a pure pleasure to watch from start to finish.

I would recommend this film to anyone who has an aversion to subtitles, or anyone who is new to French cinema. The script is economical, even quite spartan in places and often relies on facial expressions/actions rather than words to convey the mood.

As a fan of French cinema, I greatly enjoyed it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High class French cinema. Pure genius !, 5 Dec 2009
This review is from: The Page Turner [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
If you like what is obvious and don't like to think too much then leave this film alone and rent Rambo or something.
This film is a stroke of genius. Melanie who has the demeanor and looks of an innocent angel is no less than a savage vengeful person bent on deceiving and hence destroying everyone connected with her ultimate victim. This she does seamlessly and subtly leaving hints along the way. The film keeps you guessing until the final minutes where in an ironic twist the fate of her victim is sealed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thank heavens that this isn't American, 2 Dec 2007
By 
L. Hiscox "berkshire mum" (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Page Turner [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
After having watched many many American films, we've decided to try French films and this is really good. There is just 1 slightly gory scene, we were hooked right from the word go, whereas quite often it takes a while to understand the characters.

Just the right length, slightly peters out at the end but her revenge was just right.

The americans would have killed the chicken, done something beyond repair to the son, if you watch this you will understand!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slight but Delicious French Psychological Drama, 27 Nov 2007
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This review is from: The Page Turner [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
Concert pianist Ariane Foucherot(Catherine Frot)unknowingly slights a young girl mid recital who is unable to regain her composure and fails the examination.Years later Melanie(Deborah Francois)the girl all grown up insinuates herself into the pianist's life in order to exact revenge.
Director Darcourt ratchets up the chills as he plays the ice cold Melanie off against the angst ridden and vulnerable Ariane.His constant use of close up nicely accentuates the relentless and subtle nature of Melanie's plan juxtaposed against Ariane's utter helplessness and ignorance of her"fate".
Frot and Francois are terrific and although it peeters out a little at the end,catch this in the right mood and you will be gripped.
A previous reviewer was evidently watching another film and got confused with this one as his review was "hilarious".
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Taut, believable thriller, 29 Mar 2007
By 
This review is from: The Page Turner [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
A lovely, malicious little film about an obsessive little girl, whose dreams of a music career are shattered when her examiner signs an autograph during her recital.

The little girl grows up and later insinuates herself into family life, caring for the examiner's children over the Summer holiday. The question then is whether she will take revenge.

This is an intelligent film, with amazing performances, an insightful script and clever direction. Vicious, but in a good way.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling with a holey plot, 17 Dec 2010
By 
Robert (Uxbridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Page Turner [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
The French do subtle. If this has been a Hollywood film, then Maleanie (whose childhood piano audition had been ruined by a thoughtless interuption by a piano diva) would have blown the house up in a pyrotechnic extravaganza; hacked the diva's bank account and planted evidence that she was a notorious criminal. As it was, this film kept you guessing for the first two thirds before revealing the revenge motives.

The actors were great. The scenes were gripping and the camerawork very effective. However the plot started to show some holes as it approached the denoument and relied too much on coincidence. It could have done with a little Holloywood exposition to show how Melanie contrived to work at the diva's husband's law firm. Whether it was all planed or taking advantage of the improbable coincidences of the diva being vulnerable after a car collision.

But all in all, I am not sorry to have seen it.
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The Page Turner [2006] [DVD]
The Page Turner [2006] [DVD] by Denis Dercourt (DVD - 2007)
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