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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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Popularity
2,435 ( 604)
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

Luca Guadagnino revealed that he took inspiration from Roberto Rossellini, Jean-Luc Godard the raw energy of Martin Scorsese and deep human insight of Jonathan Demme. He is also a great fan of the work of Patricia Highsmith and Paul Bowles with their acute sense of noir and ability to capture characters in a world foreign to their own. See more »

Goofs

Harry says he was 16 when "Emotional Rescue" was released, but that album was released in June 1980 and Harry's passport birth date is in August 1961, so he was nearly 19 when that album came out. See more »

Quotes

Paul De Smedt: Harry, come on, that's a grave.
Harry Hawkes: Yeah, well, Europe is a grave.
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 »


Soundtracks

Okanagon
Written by Giacinto Scelsi
Performed by Ensemble Phoenix Basel
(s) Ed Salabert
Published in Italy by Casa Ricordi Srl
Courtesy of Telos Music
By arrangement with Source/Q and Naxos
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A masterclass in character development
7 March 2016 | by colinlomasoxSee all my reviews

World famous singer Marianne Lane (Swinton), temporarily mute from a recent throat operation, is enjoying a relaxing holiday with her doting film-maker boyfriend Paul De Smedt (Schoenaerts) on a remote idyllic Italian island. Much to their initial annoyance, Lane's manic music producer and ex-boyfriend Harry Hawkes (Fiennes) turns up with his newly discovered daughter Penelope (Johnson) to gate- crash the tranquillity.

A Bigger Splash is a character development masterclass by Guadagnino. Over the first hour, the film gives everything to build up the intricacies of each character's attributes so that every subsequent variation and elaboration feels exhilarating. This is a film about people and relationships; how different associations can sometimes coalesce yet at other times grate, how secrets and history must awkwardly co-exist with the fantasies of perfection.

Fiennes is simply superb. He absolutely nails Hawkes extrovert nature, perfectly mixing it with the selfish dark underbelly which success invariably requires. Swinton marvellously continues to build her rapidly emerging reputation with a multifaceted character that says less than a hundred words throughout the entire running time. Both Schoenaerts and Johnson are solid but are unluckily eclipsed by Fiennes and Swinton's sparkle. In fact, such is Fiennes utter dominance early on, there feels a distinct possibility he will overshadow not only the other actors, but the film itself. Fortunately, as time passes the rest of the cast get their chance in the sun and, to their credit, pull it back just before it becomes the Ralph Fiennes Show.

The friction between De Smedt and Hawkes is always at the forefront; the protective grounded boyfriend against the vociferous music producer ex. Hawkes tempts Lane to speak at the dinner table, De Smedt knocks him back, Hawkes dances to a track he produced for the Rolling Stones, De Smedt pulls Lane closer on the sofa. It's the subtle fragments of both loving and sexual tension which keep the flow of A Bigger Splash so thrilling.

When the plot eventually makes its move, sides are taken, suspicions are rife, relationships are both strained and solidified. Only then do you realise just how well the film has branded its characters into your hide, and how desperate you are to know the outcome.

Until the last half hour or so not much really happens in A Bigger Splash but you simply don't notice, such is the utter delight in watching a great cast develop complex characters with a wonderfully astute script.


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