Movie Blog Post: A BIGGER SPLASH

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Friday the 13th Lucky for Movie-goers:

By Le Anne Lindsay, Tinsel & Tine Editor

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.

Tilda Swinton first turned down doing "A Bigger Splash" as she had not planned on making a movie last year due to the death of her mother; but when director Luca Guadagnino asked her what it would take to change her mind - she came up with the idea that her character have very little dialogue and be a singer instead of an actress.  I think I would have said, I'll do it if I just have a cameo role, because Swinton is still in almost every scene, making brilliant decision on how to convey so much with body language. On top of which, her struggle to speak when words are a must, brings a lot to the overall film.

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)

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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