@ the movies: Swimming Pool

Saw a French film the other day. The premise is a London based murder mystery novelist is having writer's block. Her boss offers the use of his home in a small town in France to give her a change of scenery. Little does the woman realize a lot more will change than the scenary!

Since I'm not in the movie industry I don't know the inside baseball aspects of how distributors decide a film can make the trip across the Atlantic and maybe make some money for them.

The film is R rated and rightly so for mostly nudity, sexuality and language.

I'm not Victorian by any means because sexuality is part of the human experience. However, as a film-maker what is an appropriate amount and when does it cross over into mere titilation?

A film I saw earlier this year was Matrix-Reloaded and that had an extended scene of sexuality and sensuality. Part of it is to illustrate the contrast between the life of those who have been unplugged with the drab life in the Matrix. Even visually, the scenes shot in the Matrix appear as if the color has been desaturated and the emotions of the characters attenuated. So at one level that contrast was appropriate but the length of it and some of its explicitness seemed a bit over the top.

In Swimming Pool, some of it was necessary to move the story line and set up the contrast but at times it seemed the director was merely exploiting the fact that the female stars are outrageously beautiful.

The story line is an intriguing one and it is all set up for the "Twilight Zone" (not in a weird way) suprise ending.

So I'd give the film a 2 1/2 stars out of 4. The film is slow to unfold so you have to be in the right mood for this film. Obviously not a movie to see if you are an action-adventure fan.

Below I'm going to write a bit more but since I don't want to give away the film, what you need to do is use your mouse to highlight the text box to see the words. Go ahead and read if you are interested or have seen the film and want my take on it.

I think Sarah never actually met Julie. My feeling is that her imaginative juices kicked in and she wrote the story and what we see is her novel being played out in her mind. I get this feeling from Sarah's willingness to sign her new novel to give to the real Julie. Also, the slightly surprised look at the London office also suggests that to me. Probably part of the surprise for Sarah was that the real Julie was a little bit like her fictional one in that she is a blond and about the right height. The differences were that the real Julie is a little overweight, has braces and is younger than the Julie in Sarah's novel. As to why she wants the Julie whom she never met to have the novel maybe because Julie lives in the home in France where the novel was inspired. Also, perhaps as a cautionary tale for her should she go down the wrong path that the fictional Julie goes down. For those who have seen the film, I'd love to hear your opinions at rfchun@hotmail.com!