95 user 250 critic

A Bigger Splash (2015)

2:02 | Trailer
The vacation of a famous rock star and her boyfriend in Italy is disrupted by the unexpected visit of an old friend and his daughter.


Luca Guadagnino


David Kajganich (screenplay by), Jacques Deray (based on the film "La piscine" directed by) | 6 more credits »
3,048 ( 618)
4 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tilda Swinton ... Marianne Lane
Matthias Schoenaerts ... Paul De Smedt
Ralph Fiennes ... Harry Hawkes
Dakota Johnson ... Penelope Lannier
Corrado Guzzanti Corrado Guzzanti ... Maresciallo
Alessandro Ferrara Alessandro Ferrara ... Carabiniere 1
David Maddalena David Maddalena ... Carabiniere 2
Salvatore Gabriele Salvatore Gabriele ... Mayor
Livio Franco Blandino Livio Franco Blandino ... Restaurant Owner
Aurore Clément ... Mireille
Lily McMenamy ... Sylvie
Vito Rodo Vito Rodo ... Waiter
Elena Bucci Elena Bucci ... Clara
Tom Stickley Tom Stickley ... Drummer
Jerry Popiel Jerry Popiel ... Guitarist

Director's Trademarks: The Films of Luca Guadagnino

Suspiria director Luca Guadagnino takes IMDb through his approach to filmmaking, from longtime collaborator Tilda Swinton, to why he hopes he doesn't have a "style."

Watch our guide to Luca's films



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 Fox Searchlight

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic nudity, some strong sexual content, language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Before playing a documentary filmmaker in this film, Matthias Schoenaerts had directed the documentary Franky, about a childhood friend of his. See more »


When they are lying on the beach and watching a plane fly over, the dimensions of the shadow of the passenger plane are much smaller than the size of an actual airplane, which doesn't make any sense. See more »


Mireille: To be a genius is to be unruled. To be unruled is to be alone.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Throughout the credits, and at random intervals, there are images of stylised flowers, particularly noticeable in the section listing soundtrack items. See more »


References Stromboli (1950) See more »


Act 3: "Una, Due, Tre, Quattro"
Written by Giuseppe Verdi
Performed by Berliner Philharmoniker
Conducted by Claudio Abbado
(p) Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg
By arrangement with Universal Music Italia Srl
See more »

User Reviews

Beautifully photographed Sicilian landscape dwarfs four small lives and the mess they create.
20 March 2016 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

The getaway-retreat scenario is a common film device for creating a chaotic crossroad where divergent character types can bring their shady pasts, chronic problems and deviant desires. It works well in the melodrama genre because people act differently when brought together, especially in a luxurious or exotic location where they can let go and be who they really are: recent examples include Youth (2015) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). A Bigger Splash (2016) does this using a beautiful Sicilian hillside villa with a prominent pool for baring bodies and souls. To keep the plot line taut there are only four actors who play out in two pairs and the chemistry is anything but harmonious.

An almost silent Marianne (played by Tilda Swinton) is a once-famous rock star who is recuperating from throat surgery with her former alcoholic boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts). They couple happily all over the villa until her extroverted and still-hungry former flame Harry (Ralph Fiennes) suddenly turns up with his sullen and sultry teenage daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson). The tension lines appear quickly and the dynamics morph seamlessly towards an erotic thriller. Harry and daughter are overly physical with each other, Paul is derailed by the teenager's libido, Marianne dabbles with forbidden fruit, while the men circle each other with malice. Harry's use of his daughter as bait turns out to make him the catch while the beautifully photographed Sicilian landscape dwarfs four small lives and the mess they create.

All of the actors deserve accolades but Fiennes stands out for his ability to plausibly and expressively switch from manic exuberance to emotional vulnerability. He drives the story forward both narratively and as its primary entertainer. Swinton and Johnson are perfect for their respective positions on the femme fatale spectrum, and Schoenaerts captures what many will say is the most complex role of this story. With fine acting, classic landscape photography, a great soundtrack, and an engaging story to tell, one would expect that the whole would be greater than the sum of its parts. But this circular tale simply leads back to where it starts and leaves a vague feeling they have not gone far. As with so many films, it will be judged on its final moments.

15 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 95 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »


Official Sites:

Lucky Red [Italy] | Official Facebook | See more »


Italy | France | USA


English | Italian

Release Date:

13 May 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Bigger Splash See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$114,419, 8 May 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed