When a high-profile couple - a rock star (Tilda Swinton), and a filmmaker (Matthias Schoenaerts) decide to vacation on a remote Italian island, their rest is disrupted by the sudden visit of an old friend (Ralph Fiennes), and his sexy, yet mysterious daughter. Suddenly, what was supposed to be an ideal getaway turns into a whirlwind of jealousy, passion and danger for everyone in the group.
This unnecessary and ill-imagined update of 1969 French film La Piscine soon outstays its welcome. If the original French film was languid and slow-moving, this pointless update moves at a positively glacial pace. A sense of ennui pervades both acting and direction. The plot goes something like this: nothing happens for the first 90 minutes, then something happens, then the film ends 30 minutes later. It’s all about the predictably complicated relationships among the featured quartet of characters but it’s impossible to care. It’s little more than a soapy potboiler.
Ralph Fiennes plays the only character with any vivacity, but he’s such an overbearing bore that he’s as much a pain to the viewer as he is to the rest of the cast. To warrant the title, there’s a lot of jumping in the pool of a Mediterranean villa, where most of the inaction occurs. There’s a clichéd local festival. A few brief flashbacks are thrown in for no apparent reason save to break the monotony. One star for the island of Pantelleria, which looks nice in the sun.
Ralph Fiennes gives a superb performance as a really annoying character
- A Bigger Splash review by RS
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You rated this film: 1
Unfortunately he is so annoying that I had to give up on this film after an hour and a quarter. Tilda Swinton plays a rock star who has lost her voice, so she doesn't say much. Matthias Schoenaerts plays her drippy filmmaker boyfriend, and Dakota Johnson plays a really annoying American. Fiennes is Swinton's former lover and descends uninvited with his daughter (Johnson) on Swinton and Schoenaerts Italian island hideaway. He then proceeds to annoy the hell out of everyone with his manic exuberance whilst seemingly trying to win Swinton back.
Maybe the final thirty minutes were a lot more interesting but as the characters were unsympathetic, the plot very slow, and Fiennes such a pain in the derriere, I will never know. I think that this is the sort of film which critics like a lot more than the public.