Swimming Pool (Unrated Version)
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My pal Oscar and I have spent the summer watching a number of French films, and one thing we both have learned and agree on is that for the most part, unlike most mainstream American films, they are mostly unpredictable. SWIMMING POOL is no different. Just when I thought I had it figured out, a number of odd plot twists move the narrative down an unsettling and unforgiving path until a sensitive and poignant ending reveals tragic truths about life, getting old, and the whimsy of youth that can be difficult for the young to face but which in many ways are empowering to those getting on in the years. If the film instructs anywhere, it is in the wisdom that we are only as old as we feel.
Expect tantalizingly erotic moments, mostly surrounding Ms. Sagnier's natural sensuality. There's plenty of eye-candy here, and in the viewing, one cannot help but feel strangely connected to the voyeuristic tendencies exhibited by Sarah as her dismal stoicism slowly disintegrates. Indeed, much of the film's tension and eroticism is experienced through the characters' eyes.
Ernest Hemingway said, "I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully.Read more ›
Charlotte Rampling plays Sarah Morton, a successful English detective novelist who is experiencing a bad case of writer's block. Her publisher, John Bosload (Charles Dance) offers her his French Country home for a vacation to re-energize her writing juices. And it works as Sarah begins a new book. But then Bosloads daughter Julie (Ludivine Sagnier) shows up with the nubile sex appeal of a young Brigitte Bardot. And basically all hell breaks loose.
In her early scenes with Bosload, Rampling plays Sarah with an outward cool, yet it is obvious she is repressing a strong attraction to him. At this point Rampling is the picture of English spinsterhood: all bottled up in a buttoned to the neck cardigan and cinched up in sensible shoes. But when Julie arrives on the scene with her gorgeous, hair, eyes and body, Sarah cannot help herself it seems as she spews a ghastly amount of venom on her. For Sarah, Julie is not only a disturbance; she's an interloper, not only of her writing but also of her placid, solitary life. Julie is alive, vibrant, and outwardly sexual: all the things that Sarah isn't. It is reminiscent of those nature films in which the reigning, older Lioness must prove her superiority by clawing and humiliating the younger Lioness. Both Rampling and Sagnier go at each other in such a fury and with such conviction that you can feel the undeniable and tangible heat of all the passion, hate and jealousy emanating from their scenes together.Read more ›
In my opinion, the characters: Julie, the waiter, all those men; the situation: the murder, the diary, the story of Julie's mother, the editor as a libertine - all made up. She includes herself in the story, acts it out in her mind, and what we see is the acting out. She'd rather be the person she portrays herself as. Know what I mean? She makes herself sexier and more attractive (remember how pleased she was that the waiter preferred her to Julie?). She makes herself clever and heroic when she helps Julie cover up her crime. She makes herself more maternal when she comforts Julie and understands the loss of her mother. Julie trusts her even when she finds out she's read her diary. I think she's miffed at her editor over perceived slights and doesn't think he respects her talents except in a limited way. Even in the end, she's very pleased with her new book and knows it's her best by far, but he likes the steady cash cow. She knew he would which is why she gave it to another publisher, although she'll give him her next Inspector So & So book.
The biggest clue to me was at the end in the editor's office.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terrific movie. Classic French style. If you like French movies, this one's for you.Published 16 days ago by family buyer
One of my favorite movies of all time...and icing on the cake is the great Brit actress Charlotte Rampling.Published 1 month ago by Blythe Rhodes
Just watch it. The ending is such a trip. You will be thinking about this one long after it ends.Published 1 month ago by Frani W.
Loved this movie with Charlotte Rampling. It has depth, suspense and emotion, as well as some surprises .Published 2 months ago by DesertDeb
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