(aka 'The Page Turner')

Directed by Denis Dercourt
France 2006

 

  Denis Dercourt’s stylish, subtle and highly assured film is a pleasingly suspenseful psychological drama in the style of Hitchcock or early Chabrol. Déborah François plays Mélanie, the smalltown butcher’s daughter whose ambitions as a pianist were dashed during a childhood audition for the Conservatory when one of the jurors, famous concert pianist Ariane Fouchécourt (Catherine Frot), distracted her by signing an autograph. A decade after this unwitting but fateful slight, shy, quiet Mélanie happens to find herself working as an intern for the law firm owned by Fouchécourt’s husband Jean (Pascal Greggory). Her diligence and dependability lead him to hire her as a governess to his son, and soon enough she’s firmly ensconced in their home and helping out as Ariane’s page-turner as the pianist prepares for a big comeback concert. Is Mélanie plotting revenge? Nursing a crush – and if so, on whom? Or is she merely hoping to bask in some reflected glory?

Dercourt’s cool, extremely elegant and often witty film remains admirably ambiguous until the very final scenes, and even then the script wisely foregoes tying up too many loose ends. It’s a meticulous piece of work, beautifully shot by Jérôme Peyrebrune, and assembled with a proper understanding of music and the important role it can play in people’s lives. In building both narrative tension and psychological resonance, Dercourt is helped no end by the excellent performances, most particularly that of young François, quite superb in only her second movie after an excellent (but very different) debut role in the Dardennes’ ‘The Child’.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 19th, 2006 - Cannes Film Festival

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DVD Review: Tartan Video - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Tartan Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:21:03 
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.68 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 5.1) , French (Dolby Digital DTS) 
Subtitles English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Tartan Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• 'Making of...' in French with optional English subs (38:06)
• Theatrical Trailer
• 6 trailers of other Tartan films/DVD 


DVD Release Date: July 10th, 2007

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Chapters: 14

 

 

Comments:

Aside from the fact that this dual-layered transfer is interlaced (and or from a PAL source) - see last capture - it looks quite strong. Detail is above average (for a Tartan release) and colors look un-manipulated. Contrast is acceptable. Audio in 2.0 had no glitches that I could discern and there are optional English or Spanish subtitles that support the film. Tartan are still in the atrocious habit of pumping the audio choices (an irrelevant 5.1 and DTS are optional) instead of focusing on the image. The only good news is there are not a lot of tracking shots so the 'combing' (visible on advanced systems - CRT's should have no problems) is not overly prevalent.  The real star here though is the film - a tale of cold vengeance with a Hitchcockian aura.

Supplements include a 40 minute 'Making of..." featurette in French with English subtitles (no Spanish). It is moderately interesting but doesn't do much in the way of advanced appreciation of the film. We recommend more on the strength of the film rather than the DVD. It has moments that make me think of Chabrol and Déborah François of the Dardennes. See this one! 

Gary W. Tooze

 

 



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Combing...
 

 


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Distribution Tartan Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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