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Swimming Pool (2003)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 151
Fresh: 127 | Rotten: 24

A sensual thriller with two engaging performers demanding our undivided attention.


Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 34 | Rotten: 5

A sensual thriller with two engaging performers demanding our undivided attention.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 29,328

My Rating

Movie Info

François Ozon's psychological thriller Swimming Pool stars Charlotte Rampling as a mystery writer. When Sarah (Rampling) is offered the use of her publisher's vacation home, she accepts the offer. The conservative, repressed Sarah clashes with the house's other inhabitant, Julie (Ludivine Sagnier), the uninhibited daughter of the publisher. Julie's promiscuous sex life intrigues Sarah and starts to lead to the thawing of the emotional deep-freeze between the two. The death of one of Julie's

Jan 13, 2004


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All Critics (162) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (127) | Rotten (24) | DVD (17)

Ozon simultaneously manages to make his film lazily sexual and crisply suspenseful.

August 8, 2003
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Two parts psychological thriller and one part pretentious French art-house head-scratcher that leaves you mumbling, 'Duh.'

August 6, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
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Swimming Pool offers something few other movies this summer can match: A dreamy, intoxicating sensuality.

July 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The story occasionally wanders, but Swimming Pool is definitely worth a dip.

July 19, 2003
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A delectable and daring psychological drama.

July 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Think of it as a box of chocolates, with Sagnier being the chocolate-covered cherry. And you know the problem with chocolates: They're great to eat but they offer no nourishment whatsoever, and afterwards you feel guilty for the indulgence.

July 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Confusing thriller is absolutely NOT for kids.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

This is a very well directed with a good story, great characters, and involving engrossing performances from Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Rampling and Ozon clearly enjoy working together. Rampling relishes psychologically complex roles. Ozon respects his leading ladies enough to give them challenges.

September 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
Looking Closer

Charlotte Rampling is engaging in this intriguing little whodunit that seems more intent on exposing internal paranoia than it does on real world murder.

August 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

... sensual and enigmatic

January 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Tiene que ver con eso de la ficción y de ser espectadores, y hasta qué punto creemos lo que se ve en la pantalla como una realidad y no como el antojo de un director de cine.

October 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

[An] interesting character study of the two women [portrayed].

August 7, 2004 Full Review Source:

Although copious amounts of French nudity constitutes, to some degree, its own reward, Swimming Pool is marred by stupor and a fake-as-Lee-Press-On-Nails coda.

July 14, 2004

As in Chabrol, the plot's not the thing: what drives Swimming Pool is the transformations that take place within its characters. Rampling is a pleasure.

July 7, 2004 Full Review Source: F5 (Wichita, KS)

The movie shimmers with sexual energy.

June 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Ozon's first English-language film is a blend of fantasy and reality that is cleverly constructed and nearly seemless.

April 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

Stick around for the surprise finish; it's a good one, even if the rest of Swimming Pool stays close to the shallow end.

February 9, 2004 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

...provoking and stimulating to a fault, a movie that genuinely seems to care about its messages and the people it involves.

January 27, 2004 Full Review Source:

The twist ending is unsatisfying and the daughter's role underdeveloped (even if her body isn't).

January 15, 2004

One wishes Orzon was less impressed with his cleverness, and had given some thought to how it would actually play for audiences.

January 2, 2004 Full Review

Is this a mystery thriller or a very slow comedy? Whatever it is, the two lead actresses make the task of finding out delectable.

December 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Charlotte Rampling's superb performance and the film's artistic, enigmatic ending will haunt me for a long time to come.

December 11, 2003 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Providing his two favorite actresses with departure roles that have a captivating culmination, Ozon's appreciation of their talents is completely contagious.

December 1, 2003 Full Review Source: SPLICEDWire

For a story about the boundlessness of the body and mind, it's told with an asphyxiating conservatism.

November 22, 2003 Full Review

A dazzling film that plays tricks with your mind.

November 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Audience Reviews for Swimming Pool

An author vacations at her publisher's French summer home and meets his daughter, a brazenly promiscuous young woman who becomes the subject of her new novel.
Ludivine Sagnier sizzles every moment she's on screen, but Charlotte Rampling, who always seems to be troubled by some hidden existential quandary, fizzles. The story is far from interesting, and it's only Sagnier's allure that keeps our attention on the film's characters: after all, when we boil this story down, it's merely about a woman briefly seduced by youth. The end. The third act is mostly senseless, and the final reveal is "senseless-er."
Overall, maybe it's only Sagnier's eyes and body and charm and eroticism that kept me interested in the film, but that's good enough for two stars.
January 9, 2013
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

A stylish but ultimately somewhat disappointing exercise in writing, insanity, and the strain two very different people encounter living in the same vacation home. Think "The Odd Couple", only darker, nuder, and much more slower-paced, the film's overall style and masterful performances really help make somewhat mundane material watchable. Rampling is especially impressive as a writer trying to find inspiration for a new story, and maybe finding that in the town whore (Ludivine Sagnier), who just happens to be her publisher's daughter living with her for the time being. The ending does have a twist to it, although it is not as creative and mind-boggling as it thinks it is (I had two theories as to how it was end, one of them was right). Still, director Francois Ozon's feel for the camera and space is irrefutably remarkable, and the only thing that keeps this thing from being watchable is a near third-act collapse and a finale that is predictable. Still, not a bad film at all, probably worth watching if you are a French-art film fan.
September 23, 2011
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

"On the surface, all is calm."

A British mystery author visits her publisher's home in the South of France, where her interaction with his unusual daughter sets off some touchy dynamics.

Intriguing character study with Rampling as a successful mystery writer who tries to come up with a new storyline is invited by her well-meaning editor Dance to visit his home in France where she gets more than she bargained for in the supine form of his Lolita-esque daughter (Sagnier). Surprisingly funny and plot enveloping as the film progresses into a nice little twist by the end yet could have used more juice to the proceedings at hand although Rampling again proves to be a wonderfully cunning actress that has more talent in her dead-pan eyes than most starlets do in their pinkies and Sagnier provides some naughty fun along the way.
February 6, 2010
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

I couldn't remember if I'd seen this, so I started watching it and then I remembered that I had seen it, but I couldn't remember how it ended, so I watched it again. It's a good little thriller with a twist.
February 6, 2009

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Swimmingpool (DE)
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