A Bigger Splash

I enjoyed this movie, but for some reason it doesn’t inspire any interesting thoughts in me.   Need I restate the set-up?  Oh alright, if I must.  Tilda Swinton is a rock star of Bowie-esque status and cred.  Matthias Schoenaerts is her lover, a rock producer who’s just managed to overcome a destructive drinking habit.  They have a warm and sexy relationship, which they are enjoying to the full on the Italian island of Pantelleria while she recovers from throat surgery and he from a nasty car accident which may or may not have been a suicide attempt. 

Into their Mediterranean idyll bursts Ralph Fiennes as the old producer/lover who passed her on to Matty in the first place but might now be regretting it.  He’s accompanied by a sexy young girl (Dakota Johnson) he says is a recently discovered daughter from a youthful liaison.   He helps himself to their booze, food and swimming pool and even invites some of his friends, including another sexy young chick.

Oodles of sexual tension ensue.  Old passions are aroused and jealousy rears its inevitable head.  Ralph Fiennes is absolutely terrific as the loud, hedonistic old rock ‘n roll roue full of ebullient charm, shared memories of the good ole days and wicked anecdotes about Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.  He deploys all these relentlessly to overcome his hosts’ initial coolness and obvious determination to clean up their act. 

Tilda Swinton is perfectly cast as the female David Bowie.  She conveys the same androgynous charisma, aided by her astonishingly versatile face, if ‘versatile’ is the right word.  Everyone’s good, except I agree with David Stratton that the portrayal of the police chief as a buffoon detracts from the gravitas of the story. 

It’s a remake of the 1969 French film ‘La Piscine’ which had Romy Schneider and Alain Delon.  Now I want to see that.

This review was first posted to Facebook on 1.4.2016