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European-American Topics - Cinema - Page Turner

The Page Turner
By Caroline Planque
Posted May 20, 2007


Revenge is a dish better eaten cold. Add to that a few Chabrolesque elements: the setting (a huge bourgeois mansion on the outskirts of Paris) and characters (Ariane, a talented concert pianist and Melanie, a young woman who, years ago, failed the Conservatory exam entrance) and you've got the plot of Denis Dercourt's latest feature.

Like a spider, Mélanie slowly and patiently weaves her web around her victim. She makes herself indispensable to Ariane, gains her trust and creates a relation of dependence, waiting to strike and hurt not only Ariane, but also her family and her colleague musicians. 

In this twisted story vaguely reminiscent of La Ceremonie and All About Eve, Catherine excels in the role of Ariane, while the subdued Deborah François (Mélanie) remains emotionless for most of the movie.

You never really feel drawn to the characters or the story, even though you know from the beginning where it is headed. Ultimately, the film holds well together but lacks the quirkiness of the "maitre du genre", Mr Chabrol. 


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