Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool ★★★★★

I come into this having watched and adored Ozon's Dans la Maison and Jeune & Jolie. Ozon displays a fascination with the human body and relationships, belied by a sharp, playful, and sometimes satirical wit. It is perhaps this sensibility that draws me to his films, and I was once again enthralled by Swimming Pool. I've seen many reviews that write the film off for being slow, but I was compelled by the chemistry and tension between Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier throughout. The two play off each other wonderfully, sparking and entwining as the film progresses.

Rampling's character Sarah Morton is drawn into the sensuality of Sagnier's sexually liberated Julie, who in the French tradition, is unabashedly comfortable with her body. In contrast, Morton seems almost incapable of expressing any emotion of that sort when we first meet her. She is stern and "has a stick up her ass" in Julie's words. They say that opposites attract, and Sarah finds herself constantly drawn to the younger girl; the tension between them, sexual or otherwise, is palpable. This desire plays out in Ozon's camerawork, as it slides across Julie's lithe body, lingering tantalizingly. As the two women are increasingly tangled, the action builds to a climax and an intriguing twist.

Ozon's work has compelled me like no other director in recent memory, and he is fast becoming one of my favourites.