It’s a lush and intriguing experience that works so well for so long that it can’t be undone by a few flaws.
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Ralph Fiennes dazzles as a rock’n’roll maverick in a stylish, unorthodox erotic drama that tries hard but fails to maintain its eccentric momentum.
It's an endearingly loopy, occasionally half-cooked but always ambitious film.
The film feels empty and intellectualized at the core, where it should feel powerfully emotional.
Its very wonkiness is one of the things that makes A Bigger Splash a good time — the sense of a filmmaker, perhaps aware that the story he's telling is not terribly deep or philosophically provocative, allowing himself to go off the rails every now and then in how he's telling it.
The acting throughout is superb, with Swinton sitting back and watching with obvious pleasure as Fiennes gnaws up the scenery and beach furniture with genuine vim. Schoenaerts once again proves himself a charismatic and compelling actor alongside the excellent Johnson.
A slight story that aspires to be a thriller but ends up as a rather flat melodrama about a rock-star generation struggling to deal with its twilight years.
As with I Am Love, Guadagnino has put together something utterly distinctive here, a cocktail of intense emotions, transcendent surroundings and unexpected detours. A real pleasure.
For Guadagnino, it’s not the characters’ fates that matter so much as their dynamics, which Kajganich and the director manipulate with the sort of take-no-prisoners attitude typically reserved for theater, pushing the entire ensemble to their full potential.
In the dramatic stakes, the dining table comes a distant second to the swimming pool: a place to undress, bask, flirt, vie for attention, compete, cool off and burn. It’s a shimmering tank of romance, jealously and intrigue, and A Bigger Splash plunges into the deep end.