A Bigger Splash 2.0 stars

Bigger Splash movie poster

Four damaged souls in various stages of recovery — filmmaker Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) from depression and booze, rock star Marianne (Tilda Swinton) from damaged vocal cords, nymphet Penelope (Dakota Johnson) from fatherlessness, and record producer Harry (Ralph Fiennes) from, well, his life up to now — meet up at an island retreat. Actually, it’s more of an invasion: Harry crashes into Paul and Marianne’s sedate, satisfied world, bringing newly discovered Penelope and a specific (if unspoken) agenda. He very much embodies the past that won’t be ignored, and Fiennes dominates the screen, his formidable costars, and the even more formidable Mediterranean scenery as a man both possessed and obsessed. (It’s the sort of performance that gets called "impossible to look away from," in part because it can make you want to look away.) Perhaps as a result, the story tends to sag when he’s not around, no matter how intriguing the drama or how dramatic the intrigue. Still, director Luca Guadagnino ably depicts the seductive charm of a broken world without overplaying either aspect — a neat trick. 2015.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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