La Piscine

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La Piscine
Four characters. A Mediterranean villa. Sun, sex and… suspicion. The ingredients are fairly simple in this welcome reissue for a star-powered psychological thriller which has remained underexposed on these shores. Perhaps director Jacques Deray’s journeyman reputation has been the stumbling block, for this is a deliciously languid, slinkily unsettling affair. Romy Schneider is all feline elegance and sphinx-like intelligence as the girlfriend of brooding wastrel Alain Delon. Their erotically charged St Tropez sojourn is interrupted by the arrival of flamboyantly smug Maurice Ronet with teenage jail-bait daughter Jane Birkin in tow. Little is said, but past indiscretions hang in the air. The ’60s trappings and jazz-meets-psychedelia score are treasure enough in themselves, but it’s Deray’s beady concentration on the pointed silences and angled looks which really turn the screw. Bourgeois-scum Claude Chabrol territory, essentially, but done with a more commercial eye for showing off Schneider and Delon’s bronzed curves.

By: Trevor Johnston


Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday September 30 2011
Duration: 120 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jacques Deray
Screenwriter: Jean-Emmanuel Conil, Jean-Claude Carrière, Jacques Deray
Cast: Alain Delon
Romy Schneider
Maurice Ronet
Jane Birkin
Paul Crauchet
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