A Bigger Splash

This is an interesting and beautifully photographed movie — I’m not sure it’s a good one.

A female rock superstar is recovering from throat surgery on an Italian island, with her boyfriend. She gets a phone call from her long-time manager (and, as we soon learn, her former boyfriend), who impulsively decides to visit with his teenaged daughter.   New boyfriend is not so happy.  Teenage daughter is bored and decides to seduce new boyfriend.  Rock star wishes they would all go away.  A pool is involved.

Tilda Swinton is less annoying than usual, perhaps because, as a character recovering from throat surgery, most of her part is in mime.  Dakota Johnson, best known for 50 Shades, shows surprising depth as a young girl who is aware of the fact that her looks drive men crazy, but isn’t quite ready to handle the fallout.  The real standout is Ralph Fiennes, in a role far outside his traditional comfort zone —  he sings!  he dances!  he cracks jokes!  The movie is almost worth seeing for his performance alone.  Almost.

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