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Movie Review: "Swimming Pool"

When you see this film, keep in mind that its star, Charlotte Rampling, is 58 years old. That will be something that will astonish you when you see one particular scene in this film.

But I get ahead of myself. The basic plot is: Rampling plays Sarah Morton, a British novelist who as we meet her, seems to be a very distasteful person. She's rude to just about everyone, including her editor, who eventually suggests that she go to his villa in France to work on her new novel.

She's alone there for a while and seemingly happy, when along comes her editor's nubile young daughter, Julie, played by young French actress Ludivine Sagnier, who, I have to admit, is real eye candy. Sagnier spends most of the film either in skimpy swimsuits or half-naked, yet this at no time seems prurient; it seems so natural, as part of the plot. Julie is also a slut, and I don't use that term lightly. This is something that alternately horrifies and intrigues Sarah.

Then this film noir takes a darker turn, and revealing plot points will give away the entire story. The only hint I'll give you is that in a way, the plot device is similar to the one used in last year's Nicolas Cage film "Adaptation". There are characters who seem so peripheral to the plot who turn out to be very important, and others who in the same fashion, are red herrings. There aren't very many principals in this film; Rampling and Sagnier take up probably 75% of the screen time just themselves. It's also a very spare film in its use of music; you hear just about every sound made, from Sarah typing the story on her laptop, to the opening and preparation of food, which you never would have thought made so much noise.

Of course, there's a twist at the end, which I won't ruin. This isn't a great film, but it's nice summer escapist entertainment.

After the film everyone was handed a survey and a very tiny pencil with which to fill it out. Among other questions we were asked was what are our 3 favorite cable TV channels; what this has to do with "Swimming Pool", I have no idea.

AYRating: ***