Bored by her successful series of crime mysteries, uptight British novelist Rampling agrees to take a break in her publisher's Provençal holiday home, and finds the relaxed paradise creatively stimulating until his teenage daughter (Sagnier) turns up unannounced. Tensions and jealousies develop, coming to a head when the promiscuous girl brings home a handsome local waiter the older woman has been slowly befriending. For all its many twists (which by the end probably become a little perplexing for the inattentive), Ozon's film is predictable and derivative: why do blocked crime writers always fantasise themselves into a scenario which will restore creativity, and when is a swimming pool movie not about the return of the repressed? Moreover, some of the scenes in English are clumsily written and performed, and several details are downright implausible (has Ozon any idea how the publishing world functions?). Yorick Le Saux's sumptuous camerawork succeeds in building a mood of febrile sensuality, but can't compensate for the superficiality of the film's hackneyed premise.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||François Ozon, collaboration Emmanuèle Bernheim|