Directed by Luca Guadagnino, this is the story of Paul De Smedt (Matthias Schoenaerts) and his partner Marianne Lane (Tilda Swinton) having a surprise visit from Marianne’s ex-husband, Harry Hawkes (Ralph Fiennes) and his daughter, Penelope Lanier (Dakota Johnson) while on holiday in Italy. Marianne Lane is a famous rock star who is on holiday while she recovers from an operation on her throat and to stay out of the public spotlight for a while. During Harry and Penelope’s unexpected visit, there is deceit, lies and sex from all parties.
The story is boring and feels like a 30 minute movie stretched over 120 minutes. There was a lot of unnecessary dialogue and many scenes that did not benefit the story or the overall structure of the movie at all. The most exciting moments of the movie was a murder scene and the countless scenes where Dakota Johnson’s breasts make an appearance. I think that “Dakota Johnson’s breasts” could have their own credit in the movie. I suppose the (lack of) clothing she wore gives a bit of an insight into the type of character Penelope Lanier was, attractive and seductive, but was walking through the local town during a busy festival with just a thin lace blouse on the top half of her body really necessary to show this?
Ralph Fiennes played the annoying, obnoxious and “everyone’s friend” kind of character who would feel like every moment of silence needs to be filled by his voice. He’s the “been there, done that, let me tell you the story” kind of character who is the kind of person that infuriates me in real life, so because Ralph played this role so well, it did not help my opinion of the movie. Paul De Smedt and Marianne Lane played by Matthias Schoenaerts and Tilda Swinton did seem like fairly normal people… apart from the fact that Marianne couldn’t speak and Paul occasionally gets a bit angry.
If I had to summarise A Bigger Splash, I would say that it is a long dragged out story of music, love, jealousy, violence and Dakota Johnson’s breasts.