A Bigger Splash Movie Review


I greet you once again from the darkness. I have already said that she was such a charming actress that I would probably buy a ticket to see Tilda Swinton on stage. In her last collaboration with director Luca Guadagnino (“I am Love”, 2009), Miss Swinton’s character remains largely silent, except for a few well-staged whispers and an uncontrolled explosion, and she is definitely worth paying for this ticket.

To add to the film for fun, here is a script by David Kayganich, taken from Alain Page’s story, which served as the basis for the 1969 film “Fish”. Mrs. Swinton plays Marianne Lane, a glam rock singer (remember David Bowie from the 60s and 70s) who went on vacation to recover from neck surgery. She is accompanied by her boyfriend, the photographer / filmmaker Paul (Matthias Schönarts), and the couple was looking for privacy and serenity on the picturesque Italian island of Pantalleria on the Sicilian Strait. You will spend time sunbathing (in European style) and enjoying the privacy in the pool of the beautiful complex that you rented.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a movie if everything went according to plan. In the city, the wind is blowing from Sirocco – Marianna’s former lover and former music producer Harry (Ralph Fiennes), as well as his daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson). The uninvited appearance contributes to a noticeable basic tension, which only intensifies when the layers are removed. In addition to the previous relationship between Marianne and Harry, it turns out that Harry and Paul were once close friends, and only last year Harry discovered that Penelope was his daughter (and there are even doubts about this).

Harry de Fiennes is the boring blow that we want to hit in about 5 minutes. He is tireless in his energy and approach to working with the engine to make the most of every moment of life. Within the same five minutes, we also discover her not-so-subtle desire to return Marianne. Her daughter like Lolita may or may not be part of her plan. Through food, wine and swimming, we learn more and more background stories about each character, and it is obvious that behind beautiful bodies and faces there are mountains of vulnerabilities and insecurities.

Mrs. Swinton, despite the minimal number of dialogues, makes Marianne a charming character – she balances the rights of a rock star with a desperate attempt to be normal. Mr. Schönarts brings his usual body and sparkling emotional calm to the role- a guy who is much less “collected” than he would like us to believe. Penelope is a good match for Mrs. Johnson, as she spends most of her time lounging by the pool and watching the lustful bottom. But it’s Mr. Johnson. The Fines, which reigns here on a hill, with its swaying image of the vulgar and vulnerable Harry – with references to Monty Python, the dance of Mick Jagger and the natural swimming in the pool. This is a completely different role for Fines, and he clearly appreciates her.

It is a film full of vivid visual effects, and fans (like me) of François Ozon’s 2003 film “Pool” will get acquainted with the style of filmmaker Yorick Le Salx. Beauty is rich: frames, water, clothes and house. In the third act, the situation becomes somewhat embarrassing due to a small conspiracy with Tunisian refugees. Fortunately, this does not emphasize a lot of good things here – including a great and creative soundtrack with a few deep cuts from the Rolling Stones, Nilsson’s “Jump into the Fire”, a cover version of St. Vincent too Emotional Rescue and even Robert Mitchum’s “Beauty is only Skin Deep”. It is an elegant and extremely slow emotional thriller, the plot of which is somewhat reminiscent of the iconic Sunset Boulevard. If all this is still not enough to buy a Don ticket, do not forget about Mrs. Swinton!

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