Famous in its day for reuniting real-life former lovers Alain Delon and Romy Schneider on-screen, this forgotten 1968 psychological thriller by Jacques Deray deserves to be rediscovered for its darkly sensual story.
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Pretty people behaving poorly in beautiful settings is something we don’t see as much of in cinema as we used to. This is a master class in the subgenre, and one of unusual depth.
La Piscine is, more than anything else, a work of vivid sensory delights.
With little action taking place for the majority of the film, this slow boiling story is more of an insightful character study than a heart pounding thriller.
Erotic languour turns gradually into fear and then horror in this gripping and superbly controlled psychological thriller from 1969.
The movie is so tautly constructed that not a single idea can seep in; it’s a mechanism made with an eye to spare elegance so obsessive that it runs without functioning, like a watch without hands.
The film is never just some glassy exercise in the idly loaded’s languorous cruelty, though. In each magnetic performance (especially Schneider’s), in the sparse but piquant lines from the script co-written with the great, recently departed screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (working from an Alain Page story), and in Deray’s attention to emotional humidity, lies something resolutely curious about human frailty in relationships.
An intriguing forerunner to François Ozon’s Swimming Pool, it’s languidly paced and elegantly lensed, though its prize asset is Delon/ Schneider’s sexual sizzle.
This is a deliciously languid, slinkily unsettling affair.