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A Bigger Splash

Directed by Luca Guadagnino

France, 2015

HOME, 13 February 2016

A Bigger Splash

So we have  a beautiful couple, Marianne (Tilda Swinton) and Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts), living on an idyllic Italian island, a Mediterranean paradise.

They are joined by another couple, Harry (Ralph Fiennes) and his supposed daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson); supposed, since the DNA is not entirely clear. Harry is Marianne’s former lover and wants to win her back; Penelope, a teenage temptress, sets out to seduce Paul. And amidst all this lustful scheming and patent indulgence in living well, by way of doleful contrast, there is the beginning of the migrant crisis: real despair.

With this quartet of great actors it is fascinating to see the power games and political jostling, though the film doesn’t quite have the Dionysian force or cinematic verve of Luca Guadagnino’s earlier  I Am Love. Watch out for (by which I mean be forewarned about) the Emotional Rescue sequence, which is both embarrassing and kind of wonderful.