I remember watching The Page Turner several years ago and thinking it was impossibly slow and uneventful. I may have even used the word ‘boring’. Such is the folly of youth! Having watched this again my opinion has certainly changed. Yes, it is slow, but the story is served well by the pacing.
The Page Turner of the title is Mélanie (Déborah François) and we first see her as a young girl with dreams of becoming an accomplished concert pianist. Her conservatory audition is disrupted when one of the judging panel, a famous pianist herself, signs an autograph as Mélanie plays. This arrogant act distracts the girl and she fails her audition, subsequently giving up on her dream and on playing the piano altogether.
Several years later, at her work experience placement, Mélanie’s path once again crosses with Ariane, the pianist. The girl takes a summer job caring for Ariane’s son, and manages to insinuate herself in Ariane’s life, soon being asked to act as her page turner. The level of trust instilled in Mélanie by the family allows her to enact her terrible revenge, thanks to a fiendish plan that will devastate the family.
To say any more about the plot would be to ruin it for those of you who decide to watch it. What I will say is that The Page Turner is an intriguing story about how one thoughtless act can have a devastating effect. That it is easy to become consumed by something you want, but which seems unachievable. More than that, it shows how resentment can fester and grow, quietly, secretly, beneath the surface.
The Page Turner is a slow and steady story of revenge that builds to an understated yet chilling climax, thanks to a suspenseful and cleverly constructed story and an excellent and chilling performance by Déborah François as Mélanie.
In French with English subtitles.