A Bigger Splash

2015

Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

28
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 62%
IMDb Rating 6.4 10 15589

Synopsis


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June 25, 2016 at 08:35 AM

Cast

Dakota Johnson as Penelope Lannier
Tilda Swinton as Marianne Lane
Ralph Fiennes as Harry Hawkes
Matthias Schoenaerts as Paul De Smedt
720p 1080p
909.85 MB
1280*720
English
R
24 fps
2hr 5 min
P/S 7 / 21
1.89 GB
1920*1080
English
R
24 fps
2hr 5 min
P/S 10 / 12

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ofumalow 5 / 10

Well, there's nudity at least

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.

Reviewed by Sergeant_Tibbs 7 / 10

While the film is hit-and-miss, Ralph Fiennes is a total riot.

While she rests her voice after throat surgery, a David Bowie-esque rock legend, Marianne (Tilda Swinton), and her documentary-filmmaker boyfriend of 6 years, Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts), relax in the remote Italian paradise of Pantelleria. Her record producer, mutual friend of both and former flame of Marianne, Harry (Ralph Fiennes), brings his estranged daughter, Penelope (Dakota Johnson), to spend time with the couple and, mostly, interrupt the vacation. Tensions flare as Harry's ulterior motives to steal Marianne back after having 'given her' to Paul, while Penelope's relationships with her father and Paul come into question. Jacques Deray adapted this story once before in his 1969 film La Piscine, but Luca Guadagnino's 2015 iteration relies on its sharp sense for revelations of secrets and lies to draw us into its narrative and wrap us up in the impression of its characters. It works for the most part, but largely due to the efforts of the talented, committed cast.

It's films like A Bigger Splash that make us appreciate the largely underserved Ralph Fiennes. He showed comic potential as another Harry in In Bruges, and just last year his dry wit anchored the ensemble cast of The Grand Budapest Hotel, but he's a riot in A Bigger Splash. Having not seen any of Guadagnino's previous films, I wasn't expecting this to be so playfully comedic at first as it initially focuses on the awkwardness of the situation. Fortunately, as most of this is sourced from Fiennes's boorish behavior, he absolutely radiates off the screen, singing, dancing, and frequently stripping bare naked to swim. While this wouldn't have gotten Oscar attention even if it were still scheduled to release in 2015 with a more forgiving release strategy, a consecutive Best Actor in a Comedy Golden Globe nomination wouldn't have been out of the question, as Fiennes is hitting a new stride this decade which, somewhere down the line, should equate to the awards momentum he rode back in the 90s.

Tilda Swinton, an equally reliable talent, nearly measures up to Fiennes, but her character calls for a dialed-down approach that she's cut her teeth in already. As her character recovers from throat surgery, she's a near silent participant in most scenes, except when it's absolutely necessary to whisper or in its few and admittedly unnecessary flashbacks, which just paint what we already suspected rather than tell us anything new. Even silently, the nuances on her face are expertly controlled and she is the key to the balance of the heightened tone and raw emotion of the film. Matthias Schoenaerts and Dakota Johnson, this decade's new kids in town, are certainly out of their depth compared to Swinton and Fiennes. While Schoenaerts appears convincingly irritated, he doesn't have the conviction to hit the high notes his character requires later. Johnson is firmly on the sidelines for the most part, but given a better film than Fifty Shades of Grey, she's guilty of chewing on every juicy line she gets to the point of indulgence. Both are mostly good, but notably outshined by their experienced counterparts.

However solid its cast may be, the film does struggle with a choppy edit. It's littered with distracting continuity errors, unnecessary jump cuts and unmotivated closeups and push-ins– the latter being mostly on delectable food and, of course, pools of water, though this may just be flourishes of Guadagnino's typical style. It captures the therapeutic atmosphere of its environment, and with the frequent nudity by its main foursome, the sensuality far outweighs the darkness that unfurrows in its latter passages. It takes a big leap of faith in its third act but it mostly suffers from a lack of conclusiveness than its thrills and tonal shift. While the entangled web of these characters' pasts is intriguing and engaging, it doesn't appear to have a consistent point to make outside of the nature of temptation and recovery, two well travelled paths. A Bigger Splash is ultimately a mixed bag of hits and misses, but it'll find a passionate niche that will embrace it for its more tantalizing sequences.

7/10

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Reviewed by Nik Neal 2 / 10

Dreadful

I'm clearly in the minority here, but I absolutely hated this movie. Every character were annoying and not likable at all. I'm not really sure what the point of the movie was. I kept thinking it would get better the longer I stayed, but it didn't. The only redeemable thing about this movie was the lovely Tilda Swinton, and her beautiful wardrobe. Sadly, with no voice in the movie, she was still the most exciting character to watch.

Dakota Johnson (or her character at least) was just horrible. Tried to come off as young and sexy, but was just boring and dull. I don't really know if she is a talented actress because of the roles she has chosen as of late.

Either way, I do not recommend this movie to anyone!

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