Sunday, May 15, 2016
Friday the 13th Lucky for Movie-goers:
By Le Anne Lindsay, Tinsel & Tine Editor
A BIGGER SPLASH & MONEY MONSTER
I was really happy with both the movies that opened this past weekend Luca Guadagnino "A Bigger Splash" and Jodie Foster's "Money Monster" (See separate post).
A Bigger Splash stars one of the most fascinating creatures in Hollywood, Tilda Swinton who also appeared in Guadagnino's 2010 foodie film I Am Love (click for T&T post). In A Bigger Splash Swinton plays Marianne Lane a famous female glam rock personality recovering from throat surgery. She not only can't speak above a whisper, she's been told to refrain from speaking while her vocal chords heal. What better place to recuperate than on a beautiful Mediterranean Island called Pantelleria in Italy. She's accompanied by her Photographer boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts - click for T&T post on Far From the Madding Crowd) the two of them seem to have a shorthand which requires few words; and you sense it was like this between them even before Marianne's surgery. They frolic on the beach covering each other in mud; she shares her sunglasses with him while driving their jeep around the island; Paul brings Marianne her medicine like clockwork; they're such contented lovers and companions; that is until they get a call from a mutual acquaintance, Harry Hawkes (Ralph Fiennes) who has just landed on the island and wants to come visit, catch up. Hawkes was Marianne's former record producer and long-term lover, yet when their relationship ended it was Harry who introduced Paul to Marianne. Now it seems his mission is to break up the vacationing couple.
Harry has brought along his newly discovered daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson). Nothing is ever overtly said, no conclusions drawn, but you get the feeling he's instructed Penelope to distract Paul. Only the relationship between Harry and Penelope is so sexually charged, you're not exactly convinced this is even his daughter.
Harry is a wonderful departure role for Ralph Fiennes. Yes, his role in The Grand Budapest Hotel (click for T&T post) was also less serious than usual, but that was a fun cartoonish character. (So was Swinton's). In A Bigger Splash he's convincing as a guy who eats, sleeps and breaths music. He's outgoing - dancing, singing, joking, nude! Part of Harry's gregariousness is natural and some of it unnaturally enhanced, but either way, he's the life of the party.
I also think it's interesting that Marianne's wardrobe befits a chic actress, rather than that of a musician. They write in the fact that Marianne's mother has recently passed and Harry makes mention of her wearing something belonging to her late mother; yet she seems so perfectly suited to these Sophia Loren type sophisticated frocks, that you wonder if Marianne's androgynous Bowie like stage persona is totally alien to who she really seems to be?
Bottom Line: A Bigger Splash weaves a spell between the audience and the relationships between these four characters that is both sensual and foreboding.
T & T's LAMB (movie bloggers association) Score: 4.5 outta 5
Speaking of Tilda Swinton and David Bowie - here's the mini movie music video they did together in 2013 The Stars (Are Out Tonight): (note: video will not be visible to those receiving T&T via RSS feed)
Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog