Screened as part of NZIFF 2003
A subtle, exquisitely suggestive psychodrama with a layer of mystery, Swimming Pool comes direct from its début in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Charlotte Rampling plays a successful but uptight London crime writer, who is sent by her publisher to his country house in France to relax – and hopefully to produce another best seller. To her annoyance she is disrupted by the arrival of a beautiful, insolent young woman who claims to be the publisher’s daughter (Ludivine Sagnier). Instant antagonism subsides as professional curiosity kicks in. Maybe this bratty sexpot with her succession of disposable one-night-stands, is femme fatale material? Director François Ozon keeps their relationship tantalisingly insecure, feasting his camera on the very qualities that set them apart: Sagnier’s opulent young flesh and Rampling’s observant, skeptical, mesmerising face.
“Deliciously wicked… the film remains as funny as it is bitingly cruel and surprisingly compassionate, ultimately making for a refreshingly adult thriller... Wielding an ever-adept hand at suspense and melodrama, Ozon proves once again his growing command of the medium with Swimming Pool, a movie as much about storytelling as it is about passion, jealousy and murder.” — Stephen Garrett, indieWIRE