Indie Gems: A Bigger Splash

It's not over.

Marianne Lane (Tilda Swinton) is a rock star who is recovering from surgery and currently has no voice. She's vacationing in Italy with her boyfriend, Paul. (Matthias Schoenaerts) One day her friend and former lover, Harry (Ralph Fiennes) and his teenager daughter, Penelope (Dakota Johnson, who does not pass for a teen whatsoever) visit and Marianne invites them to stay at their vacation. This eventually complicates things.

This is a remake of a film called La Piscine that I've never heard of nor seen, so I can't compare. A Bigger Splash, while not a perfect film features some excellent performances in this sun drenched and sexy story. 

Ralph Fiennes gives some of the best work I've seen from him in years here. Harry is loud, full of life, and has zero boundaries. Watching him try to woo Marianne back to him and ignore the major side eye that Paul gives him was something else. It's a performance that I'm surprised more people aren't talking about during Awards season. Tilda doesn't keep to speak in this movie. She only whispers towards the end, and she's still very good. Schoenaerts is always a pleasure to watch as well. Johnson is easily the weakest link. She delivers every line as if she's in a trance. Her character really serves no purpose other than to be an annoying thorn in the side of the other characters, and does nothing to explain why exactly she hates Marianne in particular so much. 

The film isn't perfect. Despite having this gorgeous Italian location, the movie is shot horribly. The overuse of zooming in and out felt amateur and annoying. Italy practically gift wraps beautiful cinematography for you, and the director felt like he's rather film his actors like a parent filming their child's school play instead. That's a very unfortunate annoyance in an otherwise good movie. 

Grade: B-

Watched on: DVD

Memorable Quote: "I'm not leaving Paul for you." - Marianne (Tilda Swinton)


  1. Lol - I like Dakota Johnson but casting her as a teenager, really?!
    I've heard of this movie many a time but until now I didn't even know what it was about. Might just give this a watch!

    1. Yeah she is in no way a believable 17 year old. I don't even think SHE believed it.

  2. I do want to see this because I heard Tilda plays a Bowie-like performer and the fact that Dakota Johnson is naked and not wearing CGI pubes. I too, don't buy her as a teenager. Come on!

  3. The performances are what win this film for me or just that it's something fresher than the standard of film we see nowadays - if there was any justice in the world Ralph Fiennes would get a best supporting actor nom!

    1. He's soo good. He was a lot better than this than Bridges in Hell or High Water or Hedges in Manchester By The Sea, at least.


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