In A BIGGER SPLASH, the lives of a high profile couple, a famous rock star (Tilda Swinton) and a filmmaker (Matthias Schoenaerts), vacationing and recovering on the idyllic sun-drenched and remote Italian island of Pantelleria, are disrupted by the unexpected visit of an old friend (Ralph Fiennes) and his daughter (Dakota Johnson) - creating a whirlwind of jealousy, passion and, ultimately, danger for everyone involved. Written by
Penelope tells everyone she is 22 years old and her passport shows a birth date in November 1993, which is consistent with her being 22 in 2015. Later, the police state that Penelope is actually only 17. However, no issue is raised about her having a fraudulent passport (which is a serious matter) and she is allowed to fly home seemingly without penalty. Not even a scolding. See more »
Paul De Smedt:
We're all obscene. Everyone's obscene. That's the whole fucking point. We see it and we love each other anyway.
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Throughout the credits, and at random intervals, there are images of stylised flowers, particularly noticeable in the section listing soundtrack items. See more »
The peace and tranquility of a rock star recovering from throat surgery and her documentarian boyfriend is shattered by a visit from the musician's former lover and his estranged adult daughter in this unusual film. Tension hangs in the air throughout with much unannounced but pronounced animosity between the characters. Ralph Fiennes is simply electric as the unwanted guest, oblivious to his intrusion (not to mention the disturbance he causes by constantly walking around nude), while Tilda Swinton is solid in a challenging role that forces her to emote without talking above a whisper. Intriguing as all this might sound though, it adds up to precious little. There are a lot of zooms-in and out that call attention to themselves without discernible purpose. The daughter's motives are also elusive throughout without any explanation; she acts with hostility towards Swinton, for instance, simply for the sake of it. That said, the plot takes a sharp turn in the final 35 minutes with a twist that causes us to view three of the characters in a different light. For a two-hour film though, such a twist comes late in the piece and with an inconclusive ending too, it is hard to hone in on what the point of the film is (outside of the notion that the Italian police are competent). For Fiennes, Swinton, some great costumes and several breathtaking locations, 'A Bigger Splash' is worth watching, but is that alone enough?
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