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Swimming Pool

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Swimming Pool

Starring: Charlotte Rampling, Ludivine Sagnier
Director: Francois Ozon
Rated: R
RunTime: 102 Minutes
Release Date: July 2003
Genres: Drama, Thriller, French

*Also starring: Charles Dance, Marc Fayolle, Jean-Marie Lamour, Mireille Mosse, Michel Fau, Jean-Claude Lecas, Emilie Gavois-Kahn, Erarde Forestali

Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

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

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