A Bigger Splash

A Bigger Splash’s beauty is not understated though the performances are wonderfully nuanced, even Fiennes’, whose character, rock producer Harry, fills a room with his narcissistic brio. He and his love child Penelope (Johnson) arrive on the impossibly lovely Italian island of Pantelleria to visit with former lover and recuperating rock star (Swinton) and her studly filmmaker partner (Schoenaerts). They appear to be friends if not friendly, intimates without much regard for feelings and bristling with irritation at one another when they’re not having sex or sprawling about naked. Director Guadagnino has fashioned here a puzzling psychodrama where much lies beneath the surface, which is literally where these characters discover the meaning of life. Which is not to say the answer is life-affirming.

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