THE PAGE TURNER
SUNDAY, 10TH FEBRUARY, 10.00 A.M.
TUESDAY, 12TH FEBRUARY, 8.30 P.M.
RUNNING TIME 81 MINUTES
Review by David Stratton:
10-year-old Melanie (Julie Richalet), the daughter of a butcher, is encouraged by her mother (Christine Citti) to audition for free piano tuition.
She practices diligently but on the big day her concentration is disrupted when one of her judges, the famous concert pianist, Ariane Fouchecourt (Catherine Frot), allows an autograph hunter access to the audition. Melanie fails.
About ten years later, Melanie, now played by Deborah Francois, gets an internship in the law office of Jean Fouchecourt (Pascal Greggory), Ariane’s husband and offers to care for the couple’s son while he is away.
Her knowledge of music persuades Ariane to make use of her as a page turner.
Co-screenwriter and director, Denis Dercourt, is himself a musician and he has succeeded in making a precision-tooled suspense film, in the tradition of Claude Chabrol, with absolute finesse.
Much of the film’s success is due to the scarily good performance by Deborah Francois, who has undergone a major transformation since we last saw her as the desperate young mother in ‘L’Enfant’.
As Julie makes herself indispensable to the neurotic Ariane, her icy demeanour, which only melts in one brief scene in which she accidentally runs into an old friend, is a bit like watching a deadly snake about to strike.
This creepy little gem is a welcome antidote to the kind of thriller which relies entirely on action.