April 17, 2004

Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool is not the movie to see late on a Friday night after a long walk and three Fat Tire Ales. This movie is draaawwwwwn out. Much space between the lines. I just sat through the deleted scenes, which is by the way the only extra on the disk besides the trailer. The trailer has a lot more tension than the movie.

During the deleted scenes we saw, in order, Charlotte Rampling make tea at a restaurant, then walk up an alley by herself, then set her alarm clock before going to sleep, plus a few others scenes, the point being that I am surprised they took them out because the whole flick is like that.

Charlotte is a writer. One should always be wary of movies where the central character is a writer. She's having trouble working on her book (what other drama could exist in a writer's life?), so her publisher sends her to his cottage in France. She gets on a roll with her laptop thanks to all the solitude in this big country house.

We spend quite a while with her wandering the grounds and the French village nearby and settling in to the house. I know the Europeans love that shite, but this Yank gets a little sleepy.

Don't misunderstand. The movie is really well done. It's quite well acted and shot and directed. First rate production. It is however unnecessarily ponderous and slow (if you ask me).

Finally something happens when the publisher's daughter shows up unexpectedly in the middle of the night. She's a wild child, about 18, and starts bringing home dudes and partying, but mostly skinny-dipping in and laying out by the Swimming Pool in skimpy bikinis. I thought it was interesting how the film seemed to study the young woman's body. We're constantly getting breast shots, and slow pans of her from toe to head wearing one of her bikinis. Yes she's beautiful. Apparently the director was fascinated.

I won't do spoilers so I'll say that something very heavy does happen later. The girl proves to be a little psycho. But I still didn't fully get that bit. I did get why the writer lady did what she did. It's all for the book. She wanted to live it.

If you're in a real arthouse mood and feel generous toward European self-indulgence, and it's early in the afternoon after a few espressos, you might give this disk a spin. Thankfully it only runs about 1:40, but could've been less than an hour.

I got this using another 99¢ email coupon from Blockbuster, so I can't complain too much. There's a war going on because we got some 99¢ print coupons in the mail from Hollywood Video. I love it.

Posted by Wayne at April 17, 2004 01:52 AM
Comments

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I think you missed the big final twist to the movie. In one of the last seens, the writer visits the publisher to hear his comments on her new book. As she's walking out, the publishers daughter stops by for a visit. She looks totally different from the publishers daughter that stayed with her in France. Its a completely different actress (and a much less attractive one). :(

The revelation here is that the most of the movie was simply the scenes from the writers new book. The movie morphed from the writers actual life to a fictional story line. The writer did go to France, and did live with the publishers daughter, but none of the eventful stuff happened.

Posted by: isawthatmovie at April 20, 2004 11:38 AM

I guess I was sleepier than I realized. Maybe HBO will run it and I can watch it again. Thanks for the information.

Posted by: Wayne at April 20, 2004 12:03 PM

i love swimming pool! i know how to swim since i was in grade school. your site is very interesting!

Posted by: mae at April 22, 2005 09:48 AM
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