Now she is tired and uncertain, and her publisher offers her a holiday in his French villa. This is a beautifully made film, with ravishing shots of the often naked Sagnier in the titular pool, and yet another brave and surprising performance by Rampling. Swimming Pool at the on 18 May 2003, and was released theatrically in France three days later, with a , meaning it was deemed suitable for all ages. The caretaker is about to investigate something that is best not investigated. An unexpected occurs after a night of flirting among the three. She shows up late one night explaining that she is taking time off from work herself.
While the film's is British and both of the lead characters are , the majority of the story takes place in France — thus, the dialogue throughout the film is a mixture of French and English. What she does to startle and distract him I will not hint, but what a startling moment, and what boldness from Rampling! His body is in one of the sheds. But he becomes one of Julie's conquests, too--maybe because Julie's senses the older woman's interest in him. The competition comes to the fore when a local waiter, Franck, is involved. Julie is gravid with self-confidence in her emerging sexuality, appears topless at the villa's swimming pool, brings home men to sleep with--men who have nothing in common, except Julie's willingness to accommodate them.
Rampling and Sagnier are excellent, but the story becomes so ambiguous and unsettled that it's hard to enjoy it after a while. Ostensibly this would mean that the character of Julie is a total fiction conjured by Sarah for the purpose of her new book — also titled Swimming Pool — which she presents defiantly to Bosload at the end of the film. The lines between reality, fantasy, and Sarah's novel become nearly impossible to untangle, and a final twist at the end leaves the viewer wondering about everything that went before. There is a waiter in the town, named Franck Jean-Marie Lamour , who Sarah has chatted with, and who is perhaps not unaware of her enduring sexuality. She is bored and unsatisfied, so her publisher suggests she relax at his home in the South of France. She uses earplugs to allow her to sleep during Julie's noisy nighttime adventures, although she nonetheless has a fascination with them. Sarah returns to England and visits John at his publishing office with her new novel.
Her privacy has been violated. Julie eventually recovers and confesses that Franck is dead because she repeatedly hit him over the head with a rock as he tried to leave her at the pool. She is alone, except for a taciturn caretaker, who goes into the village at night to live with his daughter, a dwarf who seems older than he is. One suspicion is that Sarah had been alone at the villa for the entire time. . But ultimately it feels like a tease, raising expectations and then leaving them dangling. Ozon is a director who specializes in films where the absent is more disturbing than the present.
Then an unexpected visitor turns up: Julie , the daughter her publisher didn't think to tell her about. Eventually she even steals glimpses of the girl's diary. In terms of directing, I've treated everything that is imaginary in Swimming Pool in a realistic way so that you see it all — fantasy and reality alike — on the same plane. Julie leaves, thanking Sarah for her help and leaving her the manuscript of an unpublished novel written by her late mother, which she had previously claimed that John made her mother burn. She goes gratefully to the house, shops in the nearby village, finds she can write again. She looks down from high windows, spying on the girl who seems so indifferent to her opinion. The story moves slowly, sometimes frustratingly slow, and when the plot thickens, it also becomes very confusing.
There is one moment late in the film that displays Rampling's cool audacity more than any other. You don't know what that means, but you know exactly what it means. It was given a in the United States that July, and was edited in order to avoid an rating due to its sexual content and nudity. Sarah's publisher, John Bosload, offers her his country house near , France, for some rest and relaxation. Her privacy, and her sense of decorum. She eventually tells Sarah that her mother used to be Bosload's mistress, but that he would not leave his family.
Although in Swimming Pool, everything related to fantasy is part of the act of creation, so it is more channeled and less likely to end up causing madness. The plot focuses on a British crime novelist, Sarah Morton, who travels to her publisher's upmarket summer house in to seek solitude in order to work on her next book. Rampling has always had the aura of a woman who knows things you would like to do that you haven't even thought of. Sarah uses the mother's manuscript in her novel-in-progress. She returns to the villa, where a confused Julie thinks that Sarah is her mother and has a breakdown. Julie's sex life consists of with various oafish men, and a competition of personalities develops between the two women. Soon Sarah's rest is being interrupted by Julie's loud music and frequent sexual encounters.
The two get into some relationship trouble while living together in this film of psychological imagery and an erotic exploration of the female body. While investigating Franck's disappearance, Sarah learns that Julie's mother died years earlier, though Julie had spoken of her mother as if she were alive. The viewer now must question whether the story that took place at the country house was a fictional plot dreamed up by Sarah. And how there is nothing more disturbing than trying to conceal a crime that cries out to be revealed. But her idyll is interrupted by the arrival of her publisher's daughter, Julie Ludivine Sagnier , who is the opposite of Sarah in every way. At first, Sarah regards Julie as a distraction from her writing. Franck feels frightened and tells Julie he is leaving.