The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Swimming Pool

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Judy Thorburn

Swimming Pool

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

“SWIMMING POOL” DIVES INTO MYSTERIOUS WATERS

If you’ve had your fill of over the top summer action movies that mainly consist of explosions, car chases and graphic violence, here’s a chance to put on your thinking cap, because Swimming pool is an art film that promises something completely different. Intellectually stimulating, technically stylish, and brilliantly performed, it’s bound to keep your interest.

French director/writer Francois Orzon, in his first English language film, reunites with two of his favorite actresses, veteran English star Charlotte Rampling (Under The Sand) and sexy French up and comer Ludivine Sagnier (8 Women) to deliver this erotic thriller that will have you questioning everything you’ve seen in the movie.

The story revolves around popular, but uptight middle-aged English crime novelist Sarah Morton, known to her loyal readers for her Inspector Dorwell mystery series.  Experiencing frustration, boredom, and writer’s block, she is hoping to venture into another genre. But, when she makes these feelings known to her publisher, John Busload (Charles Dance), he comes up with a possible solution that is hard to resist.   He has a beautiful villa in the south of France, which would make for a nice getaway for Sarah, and a chance for her to get some creative juices flowing.  And, Sarah hopes, maybe even get a visit from her publisher, with whom she may have more than a professional interest in.

At first everything seems just right. Quiet and peaceful, the French countryside seems just the place for Sarah to seek rest, relaxation and maybe inspiration. Settled in the country house in a room overlooking the pool, with just a scooter’s drive to the local market and café, she appears to have the whole house to herself except for when the groundskeeper, Marcel (Marc Foyelle), shows up to work.   That is, until the appearance of an unexpected visitor disrupts Sarah’s world. Julie (Ludivine Sagnier), John’s free spirited blonde teenage daughter arrives, makes herself at home, and proceeds to display the kind of behavior the repressed author disdains.  Julie is a totally uninhibited teen bombshell who thinks nothing of parading her shapely body around topless, swimming nude, and engaging in sexual promiscuity with various men under the annoyed, but voyeuristic eyes of her older housemate. Her eagerness to taste every vice life has to offer is a severe contrast to the suppressed writer, whose indulgences come in the form of large bowls of yogurt, cigarettes, occasional liquor, and desserts at the local café.  At first, there are continued clashes between the two very different women.  But, eventually their relationship is transformed when barriers come down, secrets are revealed and a murder brings them together. However, not everything is what it seems.

Swimming Pool is basically a showcase for two remarkable actresses, decades apart in age.  They both bring their own brand of smoldering sexuality to their roles and brilliantly interact.  Sagnier with her tousled blonde hair and sex kitten allure is reminiscent of another French star, Brigitte Bardot in her heyday. She holds her own against the more seasoned Rampling, who at fifty-eight, has been around since the sixties, when another English actress, Julie Christie, was making it big. Yet, it is Rampling whose heavy lidded eyes and body language evoke the emotional and psychological changes that occur in her character, a writer hungry for creativity, and so much more.  It is one of the best performances of the year, so far.

Like I said, this is not another one of those brainless summer movies that rely on fast paced over the top action.  It is a slowly simmering character study that uses clever camera shots, music, and other subtle clues to hint at what is to come.  But, you have to pay close attention. And, I don’t mean on the nudity, of which there is plenty!  Like the Sixth Sense, Mulholland Drive, or Adaptation, Swimming Pool is a fascinating mind bender with a twist that is bound to be the subject of discussion among everyone who sees it.  These waters may run deep, but it is sure cool and refreshing, and definitely worth a dip!