The Page Turner Denis Dercourt

The Page Turner Denis Dercourt

The "page turner” in question is a sheet-music changer, not a must-read novel. To be honest, it’s not a must-see movie either. L’enfant’s Deborah Francois stars as a bitter young woman who never got over her failure to be admitted to a piano conservatory. Seems one of the famous judges at her audition (Catherine Frot) signed an autograph during her piece, throwing the young girl off and thus crushing her dreams. But serendipity intervenes when Francois takes a nanny job and finds Frot’s the mother; she’s still a renowned pianist but is in need of someone to turn her sheet music. And so our heroine bides her time, flips the pages and plots her revenge. This wispy little thriller is about ten drafts away from being acceptable — the concept has a certain Chabrol-ian flavour but leaves so many empty blanks that you’re left wondering just what the point was. If there was some way of knowing how to take what happens, this might have had some jolt, but the young heroine’s pointless attempts at retribution are neither endorsed nor satirised, leading to confusion. At any rate, the characters aren’t developed to the point that you care either way: Francis and Frot are blank-faced puppets spouting barely functional dialogue without the barest hint of psychological complexity. So dull are these people (and the blandly expensive house that surrounds them) that the only frisson comes from a ludicrous detour into "shocking” lesbianism. It’s not offensive, exactly, but it’s pretty tired, and with that kind of inspiration it’s no surprise to find yourself checking your watch long before the end. Which is no mean feat for an 85-minute movie. (Seville)