A Bigger Splash
STARRING: Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Matthias Schoenaerts, Dakota Johnson
DIRECTOR: Luca Guadagnino
THE SKINNY: Rock star Marianne (Swinton) and her younger photographer boyfriend Paul’s (Schoenaerts) idyllic vacation at the remote Mediterranean island of Pantelleria is interrupted by the arrival of her ex, Harry (Fiennes). Accompanying Harry is Penelope (Johnson), a young woman who may or may not be his long-lost daughter. Trouble ensues, naturally.
THE CONSENSUS: A Bigger Splash makes a splash all right. Guys and girls, go ahead and wade in together.
Swinton is unbelievably well-preserved.
The English actress is 55,yet she has the body of someone half her age.
Fortunately, we get to see quite a bit of her bod in this mystery crime drama.
A Bigger Splash is sensual and decadent, by turns sexual and violent, sun-kissed and stormy.
Swinton is the prize over which the two male leads compete.
Their battle is subtle and covert, until it becomes quite decidedly overt.
Though the characters are mostly English/American, and the dialogue is almost entirely in English, the film has a decidedly Italian flavour.
It is about the complexities of human relationships and the vicissitudes of human psychology.
What happens when two very different men - one flamboyant (Fiennes) and the other inhibited (Schoenaerts) - butt heads?
How do the supporting characters, mostly female, feel about these silly fellows?
How do WE feel about them?
Frankly, by the end, I was exasperated with pretty much everyone. But that's okay.
This is a beautiful-looking film with a dark twist, and you can't help but be sucked in.
Pretty intriguing stuff.
Everything about A Bigger Splash is so beautiful, and I am not talking about the scenery alone.
The women, Swinton and Johnson, are as different as night and day, yet they bring this aura that can only be described as enchanting.
The men are so charismatic, with Schoenaerts as the resident hunk.
Marianne simply cannot shake off Harry's charm, and you can't blame her.
Fiennes is one fine actor and has given us many superb comedic performances lately. His hotel concierge Monsieur Gustave in The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) was a guilty pleasure, and he was also a hoot in the Coen brothers' recent comedy Hail, Caesar!.
Here, his Harry is so self-centred and flashy, yet there is something truly magnetic about him. Swinton, too, is in her element.
Her Marianne is recovering from throat surgery, so she can't speak much.
Yet, Swinton shows how one can convey many things simply with the eyes, facial expressions and body language.
Perhaps having worked with Guadagnino before - in The Protagonists (1999) and I Am Love (2009) - makes it easier for her to understand what the Italian director wants.
This is not only a visual treat but also an excellent showcase of great acting.