Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

Swimming Pool 2003

Directed by François Ozon

France / UK In English and French with English subtitles
102 minutes 35mm



François Ozon
Emmanuèle Bernheim


Yorick Le Saul


Monica Coleman


Philippe Rombi


Charlotte Rampling
Ludivine Sagnier
Charles Dance


Cannes (In Competition), Sydney 2003


A subtle, exquisitely suggestive psychodrama with a layer of mystery, Swimming Pool comes direct from its début in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Charlotte Rampling plays a successful but uptight London crime writer, who is sent by her publisher to his country house in France to relax – and hopefully to produce another best seller. To her annoyance she is disrupted by the arrival of a beautiful, insolent young woman who claims to be the publisher’s daughter (Ludivine Sagnier). Instant antagonism subsides as professional curiosity kicks in. Maybe this bratty sexpot with her succession of disposable one-night-stands, is femme fatale material? Director François Ozon keeps their relationship tantalisingly insecure, feasting his camera on the very qualities that set them apart: Sagnier’s opulent young flesh and Rampling’s observant, skeptical, mesmerising face. 

“Deliciously wicked… the film remains as funny as it is bitingly cruel and surprisingly compassionate, ultimately making for a refreshingly adult thriller... Wielding an ever-adept hand at suspense and melodrama, Ozon proves once again his growing command of the medium with Swimming Pool, a movie as much about storytelling as it is about passion, jealousy and murder.” — Stephen Garrett, indieWIRE