A Bigger Splash (2015)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.5

Italy/France, 2015.  , , , , , , .  Screenplay by , based on the story by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Luca Guadagnino.  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by

Tilda Swinton is a rock star recovering from vocal chord surgery in her idyllic, isolated villa in Sicily, accompanied by her filmmaker lover .  The pure, erotic silence of their existence while waiting for her to recover is interrupted by the appearance of her obnoxiously vibrant music producer ex-boyfriend , accompanied by his sullen daughter () whom he has only known for a year. Fiennes indulges in the sights, the booze, and the cuisine of his surroundings, never above a midnight nude swim or a marathon karaoke session fueled by drugs, while Schoenaerts quietly hopes to get rid of the visitors and Swinton insists it’s a great opportunity to break up their monotony and, besides, he’s an old friend.

Every image is drenched in sunlight and every encounter swimming in sensuality as Luca Guadignano’s remake of La Piscine builds towards what is likely the inevitable climax between a group of people who cannot reconcile their complicated feelings for each other with their inability to decide what they want out of life. It’s a hopelessly glamorous film that doesn’t realize that we can see right through its pretentions towards high drama, but the enjoyment of watching these fantastic and attractive actors interact is enough to make it a satisfying night at the movies.

Fiennes is stunning in a rare change of pace, leaving behind the piercing stare and measured voice and creating a brilliant portrayal through manic energy and grossly excessive verbiage, beautifully juxtaposed with the exquisite sight of Swinton transmitting so much with little more than the desperation of a raspy whisper. Where the film fails is that it does not earn its ending, as Guadagnino is too in love with gorgeous images and the many bursts of sexuality to remember to ratchet up the tension in any noticeable way, but he keeps it charismatic anyway, and the film is too funny and sexy to be a waste of time.

Venice Film Festival:  In Competition

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s