Marianne (Tilda Swinton) is a glittering rock star on a hiatus with her filmmaker lover Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts). Poolside, stripped naked in the scorching Italian sun and seemingly at ease, they're completely unprepared for the sudden arrival of cocky music producer Harry (Ralph Fiennes) and his recently discovered daughter, the petulant and sexy Penelope (Dakota Johnson). Some clothes get ripped off, while others get put back on in this deliciously overheated drama with a dangerous edge.
A remake of Jacques Deray and Jean-Claude Carrière’s La Piscine (1969) which draws its title from David Hockney’s painting of the same era, A Bigger Splash transposes the original story from the French Riviera to Pantelleria, a volcanic, windswept Sicilian island that heaves with the same violence as the character’s emotions. Luca Guadagnino sharply contrasts the cocooned oasis of these privileged tourists with the everyday lives of the local islanders and the illegal African immigrants looking for shelter. As with Guadagnino and Swinton’s previous collaboration I am Love, the film cleaves the surfaces of a rarefied lifestyle. But it's Ralph Fiennes' fabulously wild and untethered performance that rocks this sharp tale of celebrity, morality and intense emotions.