A Bigger Splash

A Bigger SplashBBB.5

(out of 5)


 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 beautiful 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 mainly 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.


Italy/France, 2015

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the story by

Cinematography by

Produced by , Luca Guadagnino

Production Design by

Costume Design by 

Film Editing by

Film Festivals: Venice 2015


Cast Tags:  ,, , , ,, , , , ,,,, , , , , , , , , , ,, , ,, , , , , ,


Independent Spirit Award Nomination
Best Supporting Male (Ralph Fiennes)

Toronto Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Supporting Actor (Ralph Fiennes)


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