Articles/Movie Reviews/Other/Swimming Pool (2003)

"Swimming Pool" is based on a screenplay written by Francois Ozon and Emmanuele Bernheim. Francois Ozon went on to direct the film and released it to a mostly French audience. The film did fairly well on its limited release and received some critical acclaim, mostly from foreign critics.

The story begins with a British mystery author named Sarah Morton visiting her publisher, John Bosload. After she reveals to him how tired she is of London and all of the stress, he offers to let her stay at one of his houses in Luberon, France. She accepts his offer and travels there, finding the beautiful home to be a great inspiration for her writing.

However, her solitude is interrupted when Bosload's daughter, Julie, shows up. She tries to be nice to Sarah, but Sarah's prudish nature and hostile attitude causes them to remain distanced. When Julie starts having sex with different men every night and keeping Sarah awake with her moaning and thumping, Sarah gets increasingly annoyed.

However, Julie finally manages to break through Sarah's coldness. Sarah even seduces the elderly gardener, but she appears to be jealous of Julie's success with a local man named Franck. One night, however, after some partying, Franck and Julie go skinny dipping while Sarah tries to sleep. They have a loud argument and, the next morning, Sarah sees blood near the pool. She then tries to figure out what happened, all the while she continues writing.

The role of Sarah Morton is played by Charlotte Rampling, who does a good job of transitioning from prudish to playful. Julie is played by Ludivine Sagnier, who has both the beauty and attitude required by the very liberal role. Other important characters include John Bosload, Franck, and Marcel, who are played by Charles Dance, Jean-Marie Lamour, and Marc Fayolle, respectively.

Since this movie is from France, it has a lot of nudity and sex in it, but not more than you might see in an American film on the same subject. Some of the film consists of entirely French conversation, thus any non-French speakers may find it necessary to enable the English subtitles. Other than those few moments, most of the film is spoken in English and very watchable.

The plot of this film will leave you guessing and has been the subject of a lot of speculation. Theories abound concerning the true meaning of the film and certain elements, but it is unclear if any of them are true. I suggest that you think for yourself and have the film mean what you want it to mean.

Overall, I enjoyed the film, but was still confused by it. It is not a film that you will understand at first and you might never understand it. However, if you enjoy thinking about films and not just watching them, this film is for you!