Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool
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Swimming Pool
France, 2003
De Francois Ozon
Scénario : Emmanuelle Bernheim, Francois Ozon
Avec : Marc Fayolle, Jean-Marie Lamour, Charlotte Rampling, Ludivine Sagnier
Durée : 1h42
Sortie : 01/01/2003
Note FilmDeCulte : ****--

Sarah Morton (Rampling) is a successful British novelist who’s struggling to write the new part of her Dorwell crime series. Her publisher gives her the keys to his mansion in the South of France and she starts to write there in peace. When suddenly, the publisher’s bimbo daughter (Sagnier) shows up…

After the long and tedious Eight Women, François Ozon is back with a holiday movie that might irritate some. It’s unmistakably an Ozon movie though: as always, there’s a house that’s there to imprison the characters and reveal their inner struggles. Remember the dollhouse from Eight Women, the sweet home in Sitcom, the ogre’s cabin in Les Amants Criminels… and now a villa with a Swimming Pool, the ideal place for bodies to be bared and desire to swell up. Sarah Morton is fascinated by Julie the bimbo much in the same way as Luc was troubled by Saïd in Les Amants Criminels. These female characters once again turn out to be murderers, much as in Eight Women, Les Amants Criminels and Sitcom. This new variation on Les Diaboliques is indeed typically Ozon.

Swimming Pool has trouble fitting into the box that was prepared for it. It’s neither a comedy, nor a thriller. Instead it’s a movie that’s floating somewhere between the two with total narrative freedom. At first funny, the film changes into a voluntarily vulgar thriller that’s meant to resemble the best-sellers Sarah Morton earns her living writing. A couple months ago, Stephen Daldry’s The Hours showed us Virginia Woolf almost controlling the lives of her readers. In Swimming Pool, Sarah Morton sees her life through the reflection of her Agatha Christie universe. Charlotte Rampling is marvellous as the novelist who lets herself slowly be devoured by her fantasies of murder, libidinous studs and sunbathing bimbos. By combining his sense of the grotesque with an intentionally conventional suspense, Ozon manages to create a troublingly light-hearted portrait of a woman.

par Nicolas Bardot

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