(aka 'The Page Turner')
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
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’.
Theatrical Release: May 19th, 2006 - Cannes Film Festival
DVD Review: Tartan Video - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Tartan Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
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.
|Audio||French (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 5.1) , French (Dolby Digital DTS)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, None|
of...' in French with optional English subs (38:06)
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!