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Swimming Pool (2003)

TOMATOMETER

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

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

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

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

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 29,469

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Movie Info

Sarah Morton is a famous British mystery author. Tired of London and seeking inspiration for her new novel, she accepts an offer from her publisher John Bosload to stay at his home in Luberon, in the South of France. It is the off-season, and Sarah finds that the beautiful country locale and unhurried pace is just the tonic for her--until late one night, when John's indolent and insouciant French daughter Julie unexpectedly arrives. Sarah's prim and steely English reserve is jarred by Julie's … More

Rating:
R (for strong sexual content, nudity, language, some violence and drug use)
Genre:
Drama , Art House & International , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
François Ozon , Emmanuelle Bernheim , Emmanuèle Bernheim
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Jan 13, 2004
Box Office:
$9.9M
Runtime:
Focus Features - Official Site


Cast


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Critic Reviews for Swimming Pool

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

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

Full Review… | August 6, 2003
New York Observer
Top Critic

Swimming Pool offers something few other movies this summer can match: A dreamy, intoxicating sensuality.

Full Review… | July 21, 2003
Miami Herald
Top Critic

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

July 19, 2003
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

A delectable and daring psychological drama.

Full Review… | July 16, 2003
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top 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.

Full Review… | July 11, 2003
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Confusing thriller is absolutely NOT for kids.

Full Review… | January 2, 2011
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.

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

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

Full Review… | September 7, 2007
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.

Full Review… | August 8, 2006
Cinema Sight

... sensual and enigmatic

Full Review… | January 29, 2005
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.

Full Review… | October 26, 2004
Uruguay Total

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

Full Review… | August 7, 2004
european-films.net

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.

Full Review… | July 7, 2004
F5 (Wichita, KS)

The movie shimmers with sexual energy.

Full Review… | June 23, 2004

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

Full Review… | April 5, 2004

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

Full Review… | February 9, 2004

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

Full Review… | January 27, 2004
Cinemaphile.org

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.

Full Review… | January 2, 2004

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

Full Review… | December 19, 2003
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.

Full Review… | December 11, 2003
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.

Full Review… | December 1, 2003
SPLICEDWire

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

Full Review… | November 22, 2003

A dazzling film that plays tricks with your mind.

Full Review… | November 19, 2003
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.

More
hunterjt13
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.

More
Dan Schultz
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.

REVIEW
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.

More
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
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.

More
Julie
Julie B

Super Reviewer

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