A Bigger Splash
Release Date: May 4
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson
“When the spaceships come in, she’ll be right out front, her arms wide open.” That’s a description of Tilda Swinton’s character in this dramatic thriller from director Guadagnino (who directed her earlier I Am Love), but it may as well be a description of Swinton herself, cast here as a rock star whose vacation with her filmmaker lover (Schoenaerts) is disrupted by an old flame (Fiennes) and his enigmatic young daughter (Dakota Johnson). The mood is simultaneously idyllic and tense, deceptively casual and off-handedly sensual, with wandering gazes and thoughts leading to some particularly potent psychosexual mind-fucking. Fiennes is gloriously uncorked, Johnson smolderingly aloof, but Swinton is (unsurprisingly) the MVP here, particularly considering the considerable acting challenges presented by playing a character on laryngitis-provoked vocal rest. It’s a peculiar picture — the re-pairings and seductions seem to come in slow motion, the ambiguity is piled high, and the ratcheting tension still takes a darker turn than expected. But you absolutely cannot take your eyes off it.