François Ozon's psychological thriller Swimming Pool stars Charlotte Rampling as a mystery writer. When Sarah (Rampling) is offered the use of her publisher's vacation home, she accepts the offer. The conservative, repressed Sarah clashes with the house's other inhabitant, Julie (Ludivine Sagnier), the uninhibited daughter of the publisher. Julie's promiscuous sex life intrigues Sarah and starts to lead to the thawing of the emotional deep-freeze between the two. The death of one of Julie's nightly assignations complicates their lives. Swimming Pool was screened in competition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
This movie was about loneliness, wishes for connection, and relationships. Sarah was single; she was attracted to her editor/publisher, but he did not recirocate. Julie had lost her mother, and her father was not close to her. She sought satisfaction in sex with pickups. The relationship between Sarah and Julie developed slowly, but at the end they were very close. As Sarah said at the end, her book was about feelings. That's what the movie was about.
The female stars were great, and the film held my attention, but I was confused by the surprise ending. I think I understand it, but it would have made more sense and been more satisfying if it somehow resonated with the plot before that point.
Its intricacies of plot and intimacies of life (physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual) obviously eluded many. Wish it were due to the seven year time lapse from its release to a different generational viewpoint now, but I doubt that's the case. Most people want faster-paced, visually captivating, or blatantly humorous films to entertain them, if not transport them away from life's realities. The Swimming Pool didn't do this. What it did was juxtapose the emotional isolation of two very different women and show how they immersed themselves in the lives of others (whether via "whodunit" mystery writing or sexual promiscuity) until a murder brought them to a shared awakening and unusual unity. The psychodimensions of this film are closer to real life than 3D fantasy, fairy tale animations, or jackass humor that spans most of moviedom today. Different strokes (with stones or in the pool) for different folks, right?