Swimming Pool

May 21, 2003 0 By Fans
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Still of Ludivine Sagnier in Swimming Pool


A British mystery author visits her publisher's home in the South of France, where her interaction with his unusual daughter sets off some touchy dynamics.

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 6.7/10 (23,332 voted)

Critic's Score: 70/100

François Ozon

Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Charles Dance, Ludivine Sagnier

Sarah Morton is a famous British mystery author. Tired of London and seeking inspiration for her new novel, she accepts an offer from her publisher John Bosload to stay at his home in Luberon, in the South of France. It is the off-season, and Sarah finds that the beautiful country locale and unhurried pace is just the tonic for her–until late one night, when John's indolent and insouciant French daughter Julie unexpectedly arrives. Sarah's prim and steely English reserve is jarred by Julie's reckless, sexually charged lifestyle. Their interactions set off an increasingly unsettling series of events, as Sarah's creative process and a possible real-life murder begin to blend dangerously together.

Writers: François Ozon, Emmanuèle Bernheim


Charlotte Rampling

Sarah Morton

Ludivine Sagnier


Charles Dance

John Bosload

Jean-Marie Lamour


Marc Fayolle


Mireille Mossé

Marcel's Daughter

Michel Fau

First Man

Jean-Claude Lecas

Second Man

Emilie Gavois-Kahn

Waitress at Cafe

(as Emilie Gavois Kahn)

Erarde Forestali

Old Man

Lauren Farrow


Sebastian Harcombe

Terry Long

Frances Cuka

Lady on the Underground

Keith Yeates

Sarah's Father

Tricia Aileen

John Bosload's Secretary

On the surface, all is calm.

Release Date: 21 May 2003

Filming Locations: France

Opening Weekend: $286,950
(6 July 2003)
(13 Screens)

Gross: $10,372,390
(7 November 2003)
(except USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Charlotte Rampling's character Sarah is named after her sister, who killed herself at age 23. She told The Guardian, "I thought that after such a very long time of not letting her be with me that I would like to bring her back into my life."


Revealing mistakes:
When Sarah is shown typing at her laptop, she is clearly pressing the keys at random and sometimes several at once.


I'm so tired!

Sarah Morton:
Not surprised. It's tiring to kill a man.

User Review

Clever movie that does not reveal itself until at least 15 or 20 minutes after it is over.

Rating: 7/10

Our neighbor Donna has a knack for buying offbeat DVDs, and 'Swimming
Pool' is one of the more. She asked us to see it, and explain it to
her. Charlotte Rampling plays the central character of Sarah Morton, a
writer who seeks new inspiration at her publisher's vacation home in
the south of France. All is well and quiet until Julie (pretty and
nubile Ludivine Sagnier) shows up, claiming to be the daughter that
Sarah's publisher failed to mention. Sarah and Julie are like fire and
ice, oil and water, acid and caustic. Everything that Julie is,
carefree, bold, and over sexed, Sarah isn't. Then, what we see
developing is Sarah using Julie as the inspiration for her writing.
Sarah begins to encourage Julie. And Julie provides much inspiration!
This isn't a movie for those put off by nudity or the French habits of
liberal sleeping around. But for those who like a clever and absorbing
story, that will tingle your brain cells when it is over, having you
asking "What exactly happened?" , then you will probably enjoy this

SPOILERS follow, quit reading if you have not seen 'Swimming Pool.' As
the story progresses, Sarah gets less annoyed with Julie's bratty and
loose behavior, and actually seems to be inspired to experiment a bit
too. Things turn sinister when Julie is putting off the night time
poolside advances of one of the men she brought home, and ends up
murdering him. Instead of admonishing Julie, Sarah helps her dispose of
the body. The next day, when the village-dwelling gardener shows up,
threatening to discover the deed, Sarah offers misdirection by
stripping and inviting the old gentleman to her room for sex. BIGGEST
SPOILER — when Sarah gets back to London, her publisher's offices,
meets 'Julia', the young daughter who looks and acts nothing like
'Julie' of the movie. My best interpretation, which is also based on
comments by writer/director Ozon, is the 'movie' in France was in the
imagination of Sarah, starting when she opened her window at night, and
which was actually the book she was writing. As the movie ends in
London, Sarah shows her publisher John the manuscript for 'Swimming
Pool', which he doesn't like. Then she gives him a copy of the
published book, telling him he knew he wouldn't like it, because it was
a parody of him, and had someone else publish it.

Update: Saw it again January 2011 and it is a great movie to re-watch.