Forgotten Friday Flick – “The Page Turner”

Cooling off from the horror sting of Halloween is always hard, so this week I’m reposting an old but not gone recently MIA selection that keeps cinematic tension going but eases fans out of the scary mindset via sophisticated storytelling style – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  Today’s selection puts the refined back in revenge and features a tale of poignant piano payback told with a distinctive air of elegance.  Who says getting even can’t be classy?  We’re taking on…The Page Turner.

As a little girl, Melanie Prouvost has a passion for piano, so much so that her modest blue-collar parents give their blessing when she decides to sit for a conservatory entrance exam.  But when the young girl is distracted mid-way by the insensitivity of jury chairwoman and professional pianist Ariane Fouchecourt, she ultimately fails the exam.  Ten years later, a more mature Melanie sets in motion a intricate and calculated plan to repay the thoughtlessness of Madame Fouchecourt, the singular focus and object of her vengeful obsession.

I don’t want to reveal too much, as not knowing the slow turning-of-the-screw plot points are key to the building suspense brilliance of The Page Turner, but needless to say hell hath no fury like a potential pianist scorned.  The meticulously crafted and subtly sexy thriller is so cool in its execution that it’s hard to believe that at its heart it’s a classic revenge flick.  The light touch of director Denis Dercourt is a careful mix of Merchant/Ivory and Alfred Hitchcock – just enough elegance to appear classy, but just enough underscored anger to keep things interesting.  As far as his two leading ladies go, he couldn’t have scored a better pair, with Catherine Frot playing the perfect emotional wreck and the young and vivacious Deborah Francois (so effective previously in “L’enfant”) nearly stealing the show as the cold and haunted Melanie – think a French Elisha Cuthbert with depth.

Revenge comes in many shapes, sizes and guises.  But for every balls out, gun-toting, angry person hell-bent on vengeance flick, there are also other more subtle works that do the same remarkable job.  It’s in this arena that The Page Turner lives and breathes life into a ‘been there, done that’ genre.  Devilishly delightful, super smart and reminiscent of the well-woven noir films of the 50’s that knew how to settle the score with sophistication, The Page Turner watches every step like delicately stroking the correct keys on a grand piano and it’s sweet music to movie ears.


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

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