A Bigger Splash (2015)

Impression: I really don’t get Luca Guadagnino! I remember watching his other highly acclaimed film I Am Love during what was probably the best week of my life and feeling underwhelmed. While it was beautifully filmed, and I knew that it was critically acclaimed, I just didn’t get it. It seemed somehow empty, nothing really happened (and I’ve watched many movies in which nothing happens, and been fine with it), and I did not care about the characters. So it took Tilda Swinton in the lead role as an aging rock star who lost her voice and high placement on quite a few best-of-the-year lists to lure me into another Guadagnino film. And…. Same exact result: beautiful people, gorgeous setting, but no plot, and no connection to the characters. Sure, no one can pull off a lead role in which they don’t speak quite like Tilda Swinton, and the awkward dancing by Ralph Fiennes alone was worth the price of admission, so it was not a complete waste of time. But I am still intrigued by what it is Guadagnino’s movies are trying to say that I am just not getting.  This one has the female rock star and her younger boyfriend taking it easy on the Italian coast, when her ex-lover and his daughter show up. There is some sexual tension and dislike between almost everyone in the foursome, and eventually one of them ends up dead. Towards the end of the movie it turns into a bit of a thriller, dealing with the cover up of the murder.  In the background, the European refugee crisis is taking place, and is related to the plot only tangentially. In general, the story seems to be about rich people living completely inside their bubble and unaware and unconcerned about the world around them.  If this is the point, I am sure I must be missing the depth of the insight the film is going for.

Facts: An aging rockstar loses her voice and relaxes on the Italian coast with her boyfriend, when an ex-lover shows up with his daughter and someone ends up dead.