The Page Turner (Tourneuse de pages, La) (2006)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 14-Feb-2008

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of-Optional English Subtitles (38:14) (Full Frame)
Interviews-Crew-Interview with Jérôme Lemonnier (16:48) (16x9)
Theatrical Trailer-French Trailer - Optional English Subtitles (1:29) (16x9)
Theatrical Trailer-International Trailer (1:34) (16x9)
Theatrical Trailer-In Search of Mozart (2:36) (16x9)
Theatrical Trailer-Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2:33) (Full Frame)
Theatrical Trailer-The Miracle of Bern (Das Wunder von Bern) (Full Frame)
Theatrical Trailer-Ushpizin (1:31) (Full Frame)
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 81:11 (Case: 85)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Denis Dercourt
Studio
Distributor
Diaphana Films
Madman Entertainment
Starring Catherine Frot
Déborah François
Pascal Greggory
Xavier De Guillebon
Christine Citti
Clotilde Mollet
Jacques Bonnaffé
Antoine Martynciow
Julie Richalet
Martine Chevallier
André Marcon
Arièle Butaux
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Jérôme Lemonnier


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Denis Dercourt’s La Tourneuse de pages (The Page Tuner) is a minimalist yet sinister psychological tale of revenge. In the vein of Michael Haneke’s La Pianiste and Jacques Audiard’s De Battre mon Coeur s'est Arrêté, La Tourneuse de pages is the disturbing tale of a young gifted musical student whose life is completely altered due to another’s callous disregard of her talent.

Mélanie Prouvost (Julie Richalet) is the ten year old daughter of the small town butcher. She is a highly accomplished pianist despite her youth and is to audition for the national music conservatory. This highly tense situation is not nerve-racking for the competent pianist; she begins her piece to the delight of the examination panel but then one of the jurors, famous concert pianist Ariane Fouchécourt (Catherine Frot), egoistically allows an autograph hunter into the audition room, perhaps to purposely interrupt Mélanie’s perfect performance. Distracted and with her confidence rapidly declining, Mélanie is barely able finish her audition – the musical piece which she has meticulously practised day and night, has suddenly become excruciating. Mélanie does not ask if she can restart her piece – instead she stares at Ariane furiously as she exits the audition – a single tear stains her face, as she realises her dreams as a concert pianist are shattered.

We learn a twenty something Mélanie (Déborah François) has never touched the piano since her disastrous audition. She now lives a lonely existence but has managed to gain an internship to work for famed attorney Jean Fouchecourt (Pascal Greggory), Ariane’s husband. Quiet and diligent Mélanie impresses Jean and he offers her a job in which she would live in his home and look after his preteen son while he attends a business trip. Mélanie accepts and soon finds herself face to face with Ariane, the woman who destroyed her dreams and love of music.

This elegant tale is a meditation of suppressed emotion and precise tension as Dercourt explores how Mélanie integrates herself into Ariane’s world and changes it forever.

La Tourneuse de pages is an oppressive tale and Déborah François’ performance is truly unnerving. Likewise Catherine Frot is excellent as the woman who is completely oblivious to how her selfish actions affected and tortured Mélanie as a hopeful young musician.

La Tourneuse de pages is perfectly executed thriller from Dercourt, who also happens to be a professional viola player and conservatory professor. The script may bear some improbable scenes for some audiences but these so called plot-holes can be forgiven as La Tourneuse de pages is expertly directed and features a truly haunting performance by François who previously starred in L'Enfant to much acclaim.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

The film is presented in the original aspect ratio of 16x9 enhanced 1.78:1 widescreen.

Over a dual layer DVD, the film has been encoded at the average bit-rate of 5.60 Mb/s which accounts for a transfer relatively free of MPEG compression artefacts.

The print is very clear with excellent shadow detail and very good black levels.

The picture is sharp and defined with a natural yet muted colour scheme.

This is an excellent transfer with no evidence of minor positive and negative film grain or telecine wobble.

The optional English subtitles appear as player generated stream in a clear white Arial font and are a good translation of the French dialogue.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is also well produced.

The tense and atmospheric original soundtrack by Jérôme Lemonnier is truly haunting as it soars as the mystery is slowly revealed. It is a perfect accompaniment to what is a devious film. Music by Shostakovich, Schubert and Bach are also featured in the film.

The soundtrack is quite encompassing and there are no issues regarding audio synchronisation.

This is a well composed soundtrack and while the film is largely dialogue based, the musical score truly sets the tone of the piece.

Subwoofer usage is subtle and effective.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

The animated menu features various scenes from the film accompanied by Mélanie’s theme. The menu allows scene selection access, set-up options and access to the extras.

Making Of (French with optional English subtitles) (38:14)

La Tourneuse de pages is a film about precision and skill and this featurette allows the viewer to explore Denis Dercourt’s defined direction. Featuring a revealing interview with Dercourt we learn about his own musical background and his interest in writing novellas and filmmaking. The revenge genre film is also discussed in regards to creating a rhythmic suspense and its voyeuristic nature. Also an interview with Catherine Frot is included, in which she explains her interest in the script and her preparation for the role as well as a brief interview with Déborah François. Extensive onset footage is included, edited between the interview footage with Dercourt. (In 1.33:1)

Interview with Jérôme Lemonnier (French with optional English subtitles) (16:48)

Jérôme Lemonnier talks about collaborating with Denis Dercourt and in particular the challenge of weaving the original music, as well as music by Shostakovich, Schubert and Bach into a singular score for the film.(1.78:1)

Original French Theatrical Trailer

Optional English Subtitles are available.

International Theatrical Trailer

English Subtitles are burned onto the print.

Madman Propaganda

An anti-piracy warning precedes the following trailers, which can viewed individually.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The R1 (US) Tartan release includes the following additional technical specifications: A French DTS soundtrack and Spanish subtitle option. However the interview with Jérôme Lemonnier is excluded from this release. Also the NTSC transfer on this release features interlacing on occasion.

Similarly the PAL R2 (UK) Artificial Eye release also does not include the Jérôme Lemonnier interview. Instead a 56 minute interview with Denis Dercourt and Déborah François is included on the release. The technical specifications remain the same as the R4.

The PAL R2 (France) TF1 release includes the same extra feature content as the R4, with an additional featurette titled La partition: ‘Prélude de Mélanie’ pour piano. Also cast and crew filmographies are included and a selection of trailers. There are no English subtitles on this release for the feature film or extra feature content.

Summary

Denis Dercourt’s La Tourneuse de pages was wrongly promoted as Hitchockian and Chabrolian. Rather, La Tourneuse de pages is a cold, clinical and ambitious revenge thriller by the hand of a skilled director.

The local DVD includes excellent presentation and enlightening featurettes.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Friday, March 07, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDOPPO DV-980H, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
hmm - nitin