A Bigger Splash
Frequent collaborators, I Am Love director Luca Guadagnino and actress Tilda Swinton reunite for this heady, romantic tragicomedy, a more-or-less remake of Jacques Deray’s 1969 drama La Piscine.
Swinton plays Marianne, a Bowie-esque rock star recuperating (in silence) after an operation on her vocal chords on a glamorous Mediterranean island. She’s with her boyfriend, filmmaker Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) when her old flame Harry (Ralph Fiennes) and his foxy, petulant 20-something daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson) pitch up at their villa unexpectedly.
What follows is not the partner-switching comedy you might expect – rather, Guadagnino shows the psychological as well as sexual tensions created by the new arrivals; also unleashing some comedy (including Fiennes giving a masterclass in dad dancing) and some social commentary, observing how these privileged tourists coexist uneasily with islanders and illegal African immigrants seeking shelter.
A simmering, provocative psychodrama ensues – full of romance, envy and amoral intrigue – with outstanding performances from all four stars.