This French film has an unhurried, mesmerizing quality to its production style that alone is appealing, if you are in more of a mood to ponder. My suggestion is to not approach Swimming Pool if you are in instant gratification mode.
The story is of a crime novelist who hits an writing impasse and seeks solace in her publisher’s summer home in Provence with the hope of finding inspiration for a new storyline. It is exactly what she finds but the unfolding of events and the transformation of her character are not literal nor literary. The ending will at least cause an momentary inclination to re-watch the entire film with a different perspective.
Charlotte Rampling is exquisite as the main protagonist, an anally retentive, viper-tongued woman, who is largely unlikable in the beginning of the film. Through the main story arc she self-transforms into a rogue defender archetype which makes her appealing, if only for the magnetism of rebellion. The main story arc involves the publisher’s younger daughter showing up at the house, followed by a murder-of-passion and cover up which bind the daughter and the writer into their own crime drama novel with a interesting ending.
Its not the first parallel plot of a crime writer being trapped in the drama which they usually create on paper. However its probably the first with full frontal Rampling, which at 58 years old, will no doubt cause some younger actresses gasp in admiration or denial.