Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool ★★★★★

God damn I love this slow-burn puzzler of a psychodrama that steadily and surely creeps up on you, a murder mystery inverted into a story about the kind of stodgy and reclusive writer who writes murder mysteries, transfiguring the racy intrigue into something more frighteningly real. Like an author trapped in their own narrative contrivances, face-to-face with their deepest and darkest secrets (where all the really good material is), everything becomes a reflection of their anxieties and hang-ups: the narcissism of living out personal fantasies through your Mary Sue, the stuffy arrogance and condescension towards your characters, "saving" your heroes in a nick of time after first putting them in utmost peril, playing God with their fates outside of time, other people's misfortunes callously mined for story material and living vicariously and vulture-clawed through their histories that, to you, comprise the sum total their meaningful existence. This film either overtly or subconsciously channels Diabolique, Rear Window, Mulholland Drive, Tenebre, Persona, and 3 Women all at once; it's so incredibly multilayered and the ending is an all-time stunner. Pair this with In the Cut for early 21st century neo-noir that was dark, enigmatic, sensual and groundbreaking.

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