The Swimming Pool (La Piscine) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Swimming Pool (La Piscine) Reviews

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September 12, 2017
While its eye-pleasing visuals highly resemble to a David Hockney painting, the film reveals itself to be less translucent, more consistent. It is an eye-filler pleasure, both in its setting and cast, its inherent sensuality, and its iconic couple, being the handsomely charismatic young Alain Delon and the beautiful Romy Schneider. Though, the pool of 'La Piscine' shows its depth in a perhaps familiar tale which rises from its depicting of the usual human flaws to a tragic extremity. A part of the charm of the picture is also its ambiguous moral color.
½ July 21, 2017
Young and beautiful Delon and Schneider are Marianne and Jean-Paul, a wealthy couple spending a torrid summer in a borrowed villa.They are lovers and cannot keep their hands off each other. However, apart from the sex, they do not seem to have much to do or say to each other. Their common friend Harry happens to be in the neigborhoud and they invite him over, with his pubescent daughter Penelope (played by Birkin, who was well over twenty at the time, but definitely looking younger).

The arrival of the second couple adds considerable sexual tension. Harry and Marianne were lovers and Jean-Paul is jealous. Marianne acts ambiguously, flirting with Hurry. Jean-Paul toys with Penelope, creating a stifling, sexually-charged atmosphere. In the lazy summer days, nothing much happens, apart from the couples enjoying the pool of the title and inviting friends for a party.

However, the tension reaches melting point. Besides having a sadistic streak Jean-Paul turns out as a cold-blooded murderer, drowning Harry for reasons difficult to understand. The murder passes off as an accident, but Marianne is suspicious, She finds out the truth and considers leaving Jean-Paul, but the final frame shows them together. We can assume that sexual attraction is stronger than any moral instinct and that they will continue their frolic - at least until the passion lasts.

Very voyeuristic movie, with a Schneider at the top of her game, seductive yet fragile and very beautiful. Delon, wooden as usual still manages decent interpretation. Barkin is terrible, could not act.

The 2015 remake "A bigger splash" is vastly inferior, from the choice of cast to the plot development. Swinton is a far cry from luminous Schneider, having only a fraction of her allure. Johnson is a bad as Birkin and less believable as a teenager. Only Fiennes makes a more engaging Harry, fleshing out a part than in this movie is more ambiguous.
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2016
What this sensuous, provocative and elegant French film does so remarkably well is sustain a constant tension in the air between its characters, be it of a sexual nature or unspoken thoughts that are conveyed mostly through meaningful looks and glances.
October 7, 2016
Another lost review :(
½ March 5, 2016
"La Piscine" is a slow jam of a character study that, at first, introduces itself to be a wet dream of summertime eroticism. But while it's sexy, and is propelled by an ensemble of sexy stars, it isn't as much interested with sex itself as it is with the sensuous tension that arises from the in-between. It stars Alain Delon and Romy Schneider (who were in a serious relationship from 1958-1963) as Jean-Paul and Marianne, a pair of eye-catching lovers vacationing in their friend's St. Tropez villa for some needed time off. Jean-Paul is a writer suffering from the setbacks of writer's block; Marianne is a prosperous reporter in dire need of a period of relaxing indulgence. An animal attraction between the two gives their relationship an unwavering excitement - we could imagine them spending the rest of their lives at this poolside bungalow, catering themselves to perpetual afternoon rendezvous, chilled liquor, and sultry exchanges for an eternity.
But the earthly heaven they're currently basking in comes crashing down when Marianne receives a call from Harry (Maurice Ronet), a friend of the couple who dated Marianne long before she met Jean-Paul. The latter is apprehensive when faced with the idea of the man interrupting his leisurely holiday, but it's clear that Marianne holds no grudges in response to the past relationship - gleefully, she invites him to the sun-drenched home, his vampy daughter (Jane Birkin) in tow. Upon arrival, they all, expectedly, get along like old friends, to a point. But as days go by and past frustrations begin to resurface after years of being kept hidden, the situation takes a turn for the deadly.
Directed and co-written by Jacques Deray, "La Piscine" is a languorous dramatic thriller that bears the scent of a film we anticipate to lustily build until it reaches a blistering climax that rips our berets off. But alas, a ferocious closer never reaches us; it's a tense ride never relieved. At two-hours, we want nothing more than to be rewarded with tempestuousness that serves as a malignant reflection of the subdued drama before it. And yet, "La Piscine" stays slow and thoughtful, cinematic aspects that are fascinating until we decide that we'd prefer it if our patience were actually paid off. It's made with great style and great care, and features universally capable performances from its beautiful cast. I'm just not so sure Deray, along with co-screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriťre, realize that mood and fashionability can only go so far before you have to inject a movie with some dramatic weight.
January 31, 2016
Boy, not even my buddy Alain Delon could save this one. Slow, meandering, stagnant and emotionless. If they cut out a half hour and actually took a moment to develop these characters past their superficial fronts this could have been great. Instead, they throw out board statements 3/4ths in the film (re: suicide attempt) and expect you to just pick up on it and go with it. Everybody felt insincere and bland, huge disappointment.
July 29, 2015
French movies are weird. Too long, moving slowly, unclear points, awkward dancing (ok maybe it was the 60's) and porn-like scenes. The most exciting part was POSSIBLE SPOILER the murder
½ July 21, 2013
Peter Bradshaw, Guardian [UK]
A tour de force of sexual longing and controlled suspense.
November 1, 2012
L'esthťtique est un verre ŗ moitiť rempli de nos doutes, l'autre moitiť n'est qu'une raison qui cherche son chemin. L'amour est il un tableau? l'amour est il une simple idťe?...L'amour est il la vťritť? (par Soufiane El Khalidy)
August 4, 2012
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½ March 30, 2012
Completely engrossing, even when it's a bit slow going.
Super Reviewer
November 8, 2011
Beautiful people in a beautiful setting tell a tale with lots of dark undertones in this French film from 1969. Shades of Lolita with a layer of rampant jealousy as a couple's idyll outside of St Tropez is interrupted by the arrival of a friend and his young daughter. Resentment builds as Harry (Maurice Ronet) and Jean-Paul (Alain Delon) vie for the attention of the Jean-Paul's girlfriend, Marianne (Romy Schneider) and the girl, Penelope (Jane Birkin), provides a distraction. The pot simmers quite nicely and makes a wonderful stew. I found this quite entertaining and not at all dated. It holds up well.
August 26, 2011
‚La piscine‚? is one of those classics I always wanted to see, and which didn‚(TM)t prove a disappointment once I‚(TM)d finally seen it. It is strong in its simplicity and in its delicacy of acting. Most of the characters don‚(TM)t say much, but their subtle movements and looks tell all. The director (Jacques Deray) did a great job showing, for example, the intensity of Jean-Paul (Alain Delon) and Marianne‚(TM)s (Romy Schneider) love for each other by focussing on their tender (and not so tender, but agreeably wild and playful) caresses alongside the pool, the symbol of the (sorrow-)free lifestyle of the jetset. Later on, this symbol turns into something completely different once the invaders have set foot on the territory of the loving jetsetters. The changing tone gets clear because of the increasing silences and the envious expressions on people‚(TM)s faces. Deray also makes good use of peek shots (shots filmed from a distance, though windows, trees, etc.), suggesting distance, secrecy, hidden desires, etc. Another thing I liked about this movie is the theme of the illusion of the free relationship (typical of the time period in which ‚La piscine‚? was made, I guess). Both Jean-Paul and Marianne seem to favour the idea of sexual freedom, but once they are beginning to suspect the other of adulterous intentions, their jealous inclinations cannot be suppressed, and their relationship is almost ruined. They way ruin is finally prevented in the nick of time is equally telling of the obscurities and inconsistencies of human nature. When it comes to the crunch, man is a very dark horse. All the abovementioned aspects together make ‚La piscine‚? into a fine piece of French cinema.
½ August 15, 2011
This film does not get old. Jane Birkin should not speak at all, it's wooden.
August 5, 2011
alltime classic!!very intense movie about jealousy, passion and murder
July 27, 2011
excellent presque "huis-clos" dans ce decor de reve....l'indolence et la folie se cotoient, chacun a ses petits secrets, chacun surveille l'autre...l'amour comme la jalousie se fondent sur le non-dit.... l'harmonie du couple schneider-delon est d'autant plus credible qu'elle etait encore bien reelle au moment du tournage et c'est un ravissement....quant a jane birkin, quarante ans apres, son accent ne s'est guere ameliore!
July 27, 2011
Did not understand the end of the movie...
January 5, 2011
Romy Schneider and Delon for ever ...
½ December 22, 2010
"What was the name of that hot french spice I am so fond of?" - "Alain Delon."

Well, in this movie Romy Schneider is the hot ingredient. Heavy and shimmering lies the summer over France. Marianne and Jean-Paul spend most of their time in the swimming pool. It is way too hot, they are way too lazy. An old friend comes by to introduce his 18-years old daughter. Slowly the wheel of lust and jealousy starts to spin and it goes faster and faster, until it explodes into a catastrophe.
Super Reviewer
December 17, 2010
yes, i knew alain delon was so impeccably beautiful in his youth, but there's just something in him that keeps me from being totally mesmerized by this enormously handsome man. actually, i think he's a fantastic combination of marlon brando and james dean, and he's far prettier than both of them together and he's elegant, subdued with those lovely eyes which no woman could emulate! BUT still, there's something in him, that prevents me from being the prey of his dubious charm.

okay, let me put it in two words concisely: diabolical egoism...or even more plainly: selfishness.

just judging from his performances in "the sinners", he's surely the only conpetent tom ripley in cinematic history, delon's character in it feels exactly like tom ripley in "the purple noon" which he would be making in years to come. the story is about a man who murders his visiting friend due to jealousy and contempt, and he sleeps with the friend's daughter to revenge him for attempting to seduce his girlfriend. then he methodically schemes to elope with the friend's daughter (after the funeral) after ruthlessly dumping his caring girlfriend. but after the girlfriend discovers the truth of the crime, he skillfully seduces the woman back to cover up the crime for him, acting pitifully sympathetic with his boyish melancholy. sounds so ripley..huh?

the character makes me feel so eeriely selfish, so downright self-centered, and what makes him even more horrible is that he even has a self-justified sympathy-inviting way to lead you into patronizing his vices...he's the one who does all the bad things, but you end up on his side even you know it is wrong!....i'm usually the villain-sympathizer in most of the cases, but for this one, i say...stay away from the devil! perhaps my sympathy is more with people who make great efforts to disguise their frailties in an aggressive, un-apologetic manner so others would be more compelled to condemn them because they want no sympathy! (i admire such consistency, it's called "dignified evil" by me) but alain delon type of villain is like, he pulls off the crime with great composure and he doesn't hesitate to bare his weakness because he would apply all the available resources around to excuse himself from the condemnation and the possible penalty. (cowardly evil)

anyway, "the sinners" is a great psychological drama for those take an interest in new wave french cinema. alain delon and romy schneider are surely very feasible to the eyes. even i must say, schneider is too good for delon, whose character here in this picture is surely a scumbag with the prettiest face which hypnotizes you into immorality. shall we just call him THE HOMME FATALE!
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