Actress Ludivine Sagnier shined in the previously reviewed "Love Crime", but her breakout role came in the 2003 film "Swimming Pool". This time she is paired with the impeccable English actress Charlotte Rampling, whose long career has also spiked with this role. Sagnier's raw sexuality and self-confidence set this film on fire. Not to mention the much older Rampling who also gives a shockingly brazen performance.
The story revolves around Rampling's character of Sarah Morton a best selling author of crime fiction novels. Based in
and fighting a loss of inspiration for her new novel her publisher suggests staying at his French villa to relax and recharge. She accepts and in short time finds the peaceful serenity of the London Mediterranean to be as relaxing as it sounds. Being a writer Sarah prefers to be on her own and welcomes the quiet and sleepy surroundings. She is very conservative and quite British. She does call her publisher back in and asks when he will join her but he keeps brushing her aside. She visits the local cafe on numerous occasions and chats up the mustached waiter Franck who comes into play later on. London
Sarah's peacefulness is shattered with the introduction of Julie (Sagnier), the publisher's daughter who arrives to crash for a few weeks. Julie is young, impulsive and very in touch with her sexuality. They are exact opposites and are usually at odds with each other, but Sarah also finds her quite intriguing. Is she jealous? probably. Does she see a story there? Definitely. Julie brings home a different guy each night, and the sounds of them gettin' busy awakens something in Sarah. She snoops around Julie's things and finds a diary, which she starts to spin into literary gold. She then asks her to dinner to get some more details. While Julie is skeptical of her kindness she eventually becomes wise to her plan.
Then there's the swimming pool. When Sarah arrives the pool is covered and unloved. It is only when Julie arrives that it starts to heat up. It seems that when the pool comes to life so does Sarah. Julie spends most of her day lounging around the pool and sometimes wearing a bikini. When Julie brings Franck home one night they drink, smoke and dance. After Sarah goes to her room for the night she can't help but watch them as they go for a swim, she interrupts their interlude then goes to bed. The next morning Franck is gone and there is blood by the pool. Julie has a sort of breakdown as she thinks she killed him. She regains her composure and Sarah starts to help her get away with it.
"Swimming Pool" has one of those endings that results in good discussions afterward. You end up rethinking all of what you have just seen. Make sure to seek out the unrated version to get the full experience. The film contains copious amounts of sex and nudity and would be teen boys holy grail, but really it's more than just a skin flick. It's French for cryin' out loud. The R-rated version is available on Netflix watch instantly.