Swimming Pool Movie Poster Image

Swimming Pool

Confusing thriller is absolutely NOT for kids.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some not very good role models.


There is a murder, but it is not explicitly shown.


A lot of nudity, several scenes of explicit sexuality.


Very strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film contains a lot of nudity, several scenes of explicit sexuality, some strong language and some (mostly offscreen) violence. It is not appropriate for anyone under 17. This isn't really family fare -- it's very sexual, dark, and confusing.

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What's the story?

In SWIMMING POOL the glorious Charlotte Rampling plays Sarah Morton, a middle-aged and somewhat prudish crime novelist living in London. She is bored and unsatisfied, so her publisher suggests she relax at his home in the South of France. The house is wonderful, the weather is perfect (if you don't have South of France envy, you will after watching this), and Sarah begins to work on a new novel. But her idyll is interrupted by the arrival of her publisher's daughter, Julie (Ludivine Sagnier), who is the opposite of Sarah in every way. Soon Sarah's rest is being interrupted by Julie's loud music and frequent sexual encounters.

Is it any good?


The story moves slowly, sometimes frustratingly slow, and when the plot thickens, it also becomes very confusing. The lines between reality, fantasy, and Sarah's novel become nearly impossible to untangle, and a final twist at the end leaves the viewer wondering about everything that went before.


Rampling and Sagnier are excellent, but the story becomes so ambiguous and unsettled that it's hard to enjoy it after a while. It's fun to have your assumptions toyed with, but without any resolution, it's simply frustrating. This is a beautifully made film, with ravishing shots of the (often naked) Sagnier in the titular pool, and yet another brave and surprising performance by Rampling. But ultimately it feels like a tease, raising expectations and then leaving them dangling.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether they think Sarah imagining what's going on, or if she's creating it for her novel. There is plenty to discuss, but this is probably not the kind of film most parents would feel comfortable watching with their children.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 20, 2003
DVD/Streaming release date:August 23, 2004
Cast:Charles Dance, Charlotte Rampling, Ludivine Sagnier
Director:Francois Ozon
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:nudity, sexual scenes, strong language and violence

This review of Swimming Pool was written by

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