Oscar History

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Months of Meryl: Adaptation 

"This film is in my all time great top 10. I love everything about it. The acting, the plot, the crazyness of life itself." - Sonja

"I'm not wild about the film - but Cooper is super and I'd be inclined to put this in Streep's top 5, maybe top 3, performances. It's so unexpected, and works perfectly. For a few years this was often the performance I first thought of when I thought of her." - Scott C

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Top Ten: Sexiest Things in "A Bigger Splash"

In lieu of a full review for Luca Guadagnino's I Am Love follow up A Bigger Splash -- who can type with one hand -a hot and bothered top ten list.


10. Reflective Sunglasses.
The great cinematographer Yorick Le Saux (look up his filmography. Seriously) makes full use of the reflections in everyone's glasses. We're staring at them, but what are they staring at in this voyeuristic vacation?

09. Tilda Whispering to Matthias
As the movie begins world famous rockstar Marianne Lane (Tilda Swinton) is on vocal rest, doctor's orders. Her visiting friend/ex lover Harry (Ralph Fiennes) and a daughter he didn't know he had until recently (Dakota Johnson) arrive in town unexpectedly and they're told she can't speak. It's not strictly true. Marianne reserves her whispering, which she's allowed, for her younger filmmaker boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts). Secretive conspiratorial intimacy is a panty-dropper.

08. Karaoke.
If you don't find Karaoke sexy -- it is rather goofy, yes -- just know that anything these four get up to would turn libidinous somehow. If they went to an insurance sales convention, it'd feel like an orgy. The fallout from this scene -- is Harry way too handsy with his beautiful daughter? -- is a whole bonus drama with gripping dramatic payoff.

07. Choosing Tilda's Dress.
In one scene early in the movie, Paul opts not to go into town with the others and Marianne asks him to choose a dress for her. She worries it's too plain but he's really just claiming her with the choice, and with his mouth as he drops to his knees.

06. Gleeful Skinny Dipping
Remember when Red Dragon came out and there was all that scuttlebutt about how Ralph Fiennes penis had to be cut out of the movie because test audiences found it too distracting? Stupid test audiences. Harry doesn't care. He is the let it all hang out kind of guy. In fact, if he knows his skinny dipping makes you uncomfortable he'd probably just do more of it.

05. Dakota on the Rocks.
..and that isn't meant in a boozy way, though she's intoxicatingly shady as the bored stranger of sorts with this intimate trio. She spends more time being seductive poolside, in water, or in one memorable scene on the rocks beside a cove, than anyone in a movie since... Ludivine Sagnier in Swimming Pool?

04. The Fashion
Oh this old thing? I'm just going out too pick up some groceries. 

04. That scene in the alleyway
I can't even talk about this amazing half-conversation between Harry and Marianne. Especially Tilda's half-lidded gaze directly into camera.

Franchise Request: The Tildaverse. Can Luca and Tilda just make a movie together every year for blockbuster season, ideal adult counterprogramming, about the struggles of great sex, life choices, and being too fabulous for this world in picturesque locals?

03. The Hand-Holding.
There's so much of it. Especially between Matthias & Tilda who can't seem to keep their hands off of each other. 

02. The Nude Sunbathing Opening Scenes.
The first few quiet moments of the movie find Matthias & Tilda, enjoying each other's fleshy company in mud baths, pools, and/or sunbathing. They're so blissfully comfortable in each other's general proximity or right up close. It's an ideal way to kick off this suspenseful drama about three sexy people who are all way too familiar with each other, and another sexy less familiar bomb just waiting to go off. 

01. The Editing.  
Of the film's many visual pleasures, the greatest may well be its editing, which darts around hornily or fearfully or lingers on blissed out whims or memories. The editor Walter Falsano (who also shaped I Am Love) cuts so gorgeously to suggest interconnectivity of characters by highlighting gestures, looks, movement, and touching that he adds a whole new layer of intimacy to an already tactile picture.

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Reader Comments (19)

This article really made me want to love the film more than I did. The craft was great and no one can fault those four actors. However, I felt the third act was very weak and the plotting to be a bit wonky. Nevertheless, I fully cosign the Tilda-verse!

May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris James

I really hated "I am Love" (but for Tilda) so I'm looking forward to this one with skepticism ...

May 10, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

Right there with you stjeans. Loathed I am Love.

May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan





May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

I might as well explode reading this lol
So excited to see Dakota's career blowing up since the trainwreck of grey

May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

I LOVED I Am Love, I think Luca is a visionary and all four of the main cast are such exciting actors so I can't wait.

May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMojo

Love this! And as much as I think Dakota Johnson is a fine actress, I couldn't help but wish that Saoirse Ronan was in the role the entire time. It's definitely the trickiest character of the foursome and I'm not sure Johnson has the panache to pull it off.

May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

@Jordan. I'm not ready to see Soairse get sexy yet. NOt fresh off from Brooklyn. Dakota is just fine

May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCris

I so want to watch this movie...

May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMingy


May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMingy

I would swear we could already see Ralph's little Ralph. It was a girthy grower, I thought.

BUT, I will see this to compare and contrast. For the team, of course.

May 10, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

I saw this in Australia the day after seeing BATMAN v SUPERMAN. All that light and sexiness truly was an antidote to the dour superheroes. The sexiness and light also probably blinded me to some of the film's flaws - I agree the plotting in the third act was a bit wonky.

And how has no one mentioned Ralph Fiennes' dancing yet?! An Oscar nomination for him for this - alongside SCHINDLER'S LIST and THE ENGLISH PATIENT - would truly show the man's range. Plus of course if he had been nominated for THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - how did *that* not happen?

May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

I haven't seen the movie, but this list is obviously wrong! It should read:

10. Ralph Fiennes
9. Ralph Fiennes
8. Ralph Fiennes
7. Ralph Fiennes.......

May 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Suzanne -- your voice has been heard. And the movie shall provide once you see it.

May 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I agree on all 10 of these. Interesting that they are almost all from the first half of the movie. Nathaniel, did you like the direction it took in the second half? I was really disappointed by it. Would've much rather had it be just full on sensual lifestyle porn with that crazy, barely repressed energy running back and forth between the characters.

May 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Just saw this, and wanted to like it more than I did. My biggest obstacle: Ralph Fiennes turns in one of the most annoying screen performances since Ernest stopped going places. The film doesn't ask us to sympathize with him, but it does ask us to spend time with him and it's just intolerable, a toxic mix of a hateful character and over-the-top acting. He may actually BE Voldemort I was so repelled.

And yes, that second half had me wondering what the point was, though there were stylish moments along the way.

May 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDave S.

Somebody grab the A/C because this movie looks HHHOOOTT!!!

May 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMatt St.Clair

Dave S -- I'm not sure the ending is successful though I liked that it risked being so ugly with Marianne's eagerness to shift blame and that strangely Young Adult like effect of "wow, people are really fucked up when they worship 'cool' people" feeling.

but the movie is such a sensual experience that i'm eager to return because there's nothing like it in theaters.

May 13, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Guadagnino is currently filming the best gay-themed novel of the 21st century (imho) starring Armie Hammer. Looking forward to seeing what the director of A Bigger Splash does with the already super sensual Call Me By Your Name.

May 25, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdavidm

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