SWIMMING POOL, by French director Fran‡ois Ozon (8 WOMEN), is a well constructed
but inconsequential film whose saving grace is a single good twist.
The story of Sarah Morton (Charlotte Rampling), a bored British crime novelist,
the movie takes place mainly at the French home of her British editor, John
Bosload (Charles Dance). John, who is too busy to join Sarah, offers her the
loan of his vacation home so that she can recharge her creative batteries. Her
last whodunit, "Darwell Wears a Kilt," was a success, but she yearns to do
something else -- perhaps a romance novel.
Sarah's solitude at her retreat is shattered when John's daughter, Julie
(Ludivine Sagnier), drops by and decides to stay indefinitely. Absolutely
gorgeous and preferring to have long conversations while showing off her ample,
naked breasts, Julie continually irritates Sarah. Bringing home a different guy
every night, Julie seems to be having a great time, both in bed and in annoying
Sarah. Other than the frequent displays of Sagnier's beautiful body, the first
two acts offer viewers few compelling moments. Only in the last act does the
story finally gain some traction.
"Where is the action?" John asks Sarah when she shows him her first attempt at
something other than a crime novel. "Where are the plot twists?" You'll be
asking yourself the same thing through most of the movie. As a voyeuristic
experience, however, the film does not disappoint. Still, there are a lot worst
things to do than sit in the dark and admire Sagnier's phenomenal figure.
SWIMMING POOL runs 1:42. The film is in French with English subtitles and in
English. It is rated R for "strong sexual content, nudity, language, some
violence and drug use" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.
The film opens nationwide in the United States on Friday, July 11, 2003. In the
Silicon Valley, it will be showing at the Camera Cinemas.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes