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A Bigger Splash (2015)

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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.

Director:

Luca Guadagnino

Writers:

David Kajganich (screenplay by), Jacques Deray (movie "La piscine") | 1 more credit »
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2,719 ( 1,979)
4 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

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 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

13 May 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Bigger Splash See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$114,419, 8 May 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,982,505, 26 June 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The book that Marianne is reading is "A Death in the Family" by James Agee. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The initial credits have the roles and names on yellow shapes (like small mosaic pieces) on a black background, before reverting to more traditional lists. See more »

Connections

References Journey to Italy (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Jump Into the Fire
Written and Performed by Harry Nilsson
(c) EMI Music Publishing Italia Srl/Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp. obo Golden Syrup
(p) Sony Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Well, there's nudity at least
13 May 2016 | by ofumalowSee all my reviews

The director's prior "I Am Love" ultimately transcended its more pretentious, arbitrary aspects with a certain feeling of epic emotionality. But this time around there isn't enough substance or originality in other departments to detract attention from how...well, pretentious and arbitrary many of his directorial choices are. To an extent there's interest in simply watching the well-cast stars go through their paces: Fiennes plays one of his most extroverted characters; Swinton has magnetism as usual in a contrasting figure (contrasting because her rock-star has to be silent while recovering from surgery--but a laughable flashback where she sings in a recording studio blows any belief that we're watching a credible musical talent); Schoenaerts is attractive and earnest; Johnson is good playing a petulant brat who uses her sexual allure in obvious (yet successful) ways. If you've ever wanted to see any of these actors full-frontal, here's your big chance, since there's a lot of nudity here that doesn't seem to exist for much reason beyond producing a "Look, s/he's taken it all off, too!" reaction.

But after a while you realize that as colorfully played as these figures are, none of them are drawn with enough depth to be genuinely interesting, and in fact they're largely annoying--to each other, and to us. It's predictable that the 2nd, vaguely incestuous "couple" who make an invasive surprise visit are going to disrupt the idyll and emotional security of the main couple who have hoped to escape just such company. It's predictable that there will be infidelity, and that sooner or later something violent is going to happen. Yet it's very hard to care about any of this.

That the director thinks his actors/characters are endlessly fascinating is obvious--otherwise why on Earth would he stage scenes like the one in which two of them invade a karaoke bar, and though neither of them can sing very well, we're supposed to believe they quickly have half the island populace raptly watching their performance? Judging from "I Am Love" and this, I've got to assume the director himself is a product of jet-setting wealth who automatically assumes the wealthy and privileged are special, fascinating creatures. Yet "Bigger Splash" inadvertently provides the truthful end to that sentence: "...only to each other."

In terms of image and editing, the film is flashy in often pointless, mannered ways that to my mind are neither beautiful or interesting...just show-offy and empty, the flourishes of a director who thinks flamboyant stylistic gestures = a true "artist," without worrying what they actually MEAN, if anything. (He's made a documentary about Bertolucci, and while the latter has certainly made some uneven, mannered work, he comes by instinctively everything that Guadagnino does in an imitative, pretentious way.) Of course, some will be taken in by it, since some people will always fall for Art that labels itself as such.

For all the talent it deploys, though, "Bigger Splash" is ultimately just a particularly pretentious variation on "erotic thriller" material, without much real tension, and certainly without any real substance. It's not terrible, but it's ultimately pretty trivial.

By the way, if you want a laugh, read Luca Guadagnino's Wikipedia bio. It's one of those Wiki entries that sounds like it was written by the subject (and/or his publicist), as it solemnly gushes over his "curiosity and passion for diverse artistic disciplines" including the company he founded that "conceives and implements luxury communications for luxury brands." I didn't know about THAT before, but it sure isn't surprising that he'd have a background in high-end advertising, the center of the universe for pretentious stylistic gestures about nothing.


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