15 certificateSwimming Pool is a Film programme that first aired in 2003 and has been classified a 15 certificate.

Swimming Pool is a 3 star programme

Image for the Film programme "Swimming Pool"

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Swimming Pool (2003)

François Ozon's sixth feature film is his first to use English, and proves that whatever the language, he's a master at audience manipulation. Feeling trapped and unable to write, novelist Sarah Morgan (Charlotte Rampling) seeks a change of scene. When her publisher John Bosload (Charles Dance) suggests she stay at his holiday home in Provence, she agrees.

The property has a tenant: Bosload's daughter Julie (Ludivine Sagnier). Her promiscuous behaviour both shocks and fascinates the older woman, who takes to reading the girl's private diary. Sarah begins to flirt with a local waiter, but when Julie founds out her diary has been read, she seduces him to exact revenge. But the two women gradually reconcile, drawn together by mutual fascination. And murder...

Conceiving the plot of a young man and ageing author, Ozon's genius was to change his mind. Instead, Sagnier was added, emerging from the tomboy role she played so expertly for him in 8 Women. The switch was crucial, creating a sexual energy that propels the drama. Sarah's inhibitions clash with the showboating teen, but gradually, subtly, the roles switch. Between them stands the water: a metaphor for the subconscious, which, by the end, reframes the film to create one of the better twists of recent European cinema.

Unlike Under the Sand (which she made with Ozon in 2000), Rampling's character is given room to breathe, and her performance - in which Sarah experiences some of the sensuality about which she writes - is a thing of beauty (her awkward disco dance is, as they used to say, worth the entrance money alone). The director's maturity deserves mention. Five years previously he was offering up the crude but amusing antics of Sitcom; now he offers layers of meaning and interpretation worthy of a more practised craftsman.

Written by ,

Genre: Film

Running Time: 105 minutes (approx)

Production Year: 2003

3/5 Stars

Classification: 15 Certificate

Production Country: France/UK

Filmed in Colour


Image for Charlotte RamplingCharlotte Rampling...Sarah Morton
Ludivine Sagnier...Julie
Image for Charles DanceCharles Dance...John Bosload
Jean-Marie Lamour...Franck
Marc Fayolle...Marcel
Mireille Mossé...Marcel's Daughter
Michel Fau...First Man
Jean-Claude Lecas...Second Man
Emilie Gavois-Kahn...Waitress at Cafe
Erarde Forestali...Old Man
Lauren Farrow...Julia
Sebastian Harcombe...Terry Long
Frances Cuka...Lady on the Underground
Keith Yeates...Sarah's Father
Tricia Aileen...John Bosload's Secretary