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Review by Andrew Phillips

A Bigger Splash 2015

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Review by Andrew Phillips
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2016-07-06T19:19:04+01:00— updated 2016-07-09T18:38:40+01:00

I don't know how I feel about this film.

The performances are serviceable (except for Dakota Johnson, who is a dead-eyed dramatic void).

Tilda Swinton is great, as always, despite the pretentiousness of her choosing to be effectively mute in this film. Look everybody! Tilda can act with her vocal chords tied behind her back! We get it.

Ralph Fiennes does a decent job selling a character that is supremely annoying.

The nudity is also worth mentioning here. We get to see a lot of medium shots of Ralph Fiennes' dick in this film, despite only seeing Dakota Johnson's stick-figure body from what seems like two miles away. How is that fair and equitable?

In all seriousness, I never really bought into what was happening here. Character motivations were two-dimensional, obviously manipulative people managed to obviously manipulate, and the Big Dramatic Climax doesn't seem earned. (And that is totally apart from it being utterly ridiculous in its sheer unlikelihood. Harry's drowning during a swimming pool slap-fight would never have happened as quickly or as easily as it did.)

It is entirely possible that I need to watch this movie again to grasp the levels I may have missed. I am, for example, curious about the several times they refer to the Mediterranean migrant crisis as it relates to this Italian island, but can't for the life of me figure out how or why it plays into the main story line. Is it just there to add faux political heft? A scapegoat? A oblique commentary on how ridiculous and shallow this celebrity rock star vacation drama really is?

Nah. I don't think I overlooked anything, and this film didn't hook me well enough to make me want to invest time in a rewatch.

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