As I suspected/projected earlier this month, Fox Searchlight has given Luca Guadignino‘s A Bigger Splash a spring ’16 release date — May 13th, to be precise, or right in the middle of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival (5.11 to 5.22). And yet this relationship melodrama costarring Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, Ralph Fiennes and Matthias Schoenaerts, a remake of Jacques Deray‘s La Piscine (’69) and set on a Mediterranean island, will debut in a few days at the Venice Film Festival, and then will open theatrically in England in October. (And in Germany on 3.31.16.) But U.S. of A. critics not covering Venice may have to wait seven or eight months to see it.
I’m sure there are precedents, but when was the last time that a significant-sounding, name-brand film of this type (noirish, adult) was booked for Venice but not for Telluride or Toronto? Why did Fox Searchlight acquire U.S. distribution rights only to give it the bum’s rush? Perhaps it’ll screen as part of the World Cinema program during Sundance ’16.
From “The Water Is Cold,” posted on 8.7.15: “Last night I finally watched La Piscine start to finish. The plot and the tone are as malevolent as this kind of thing gets. It’s a Mediterranean sun-baked noir with nary a drop of heart or compassion. And in at least one respect it’s fairly deranged. I sensed or suspected right away how audiences will respond to A Bigger Splash if it follows the plot of La Piscine. ‘Audience-friendly’ is not a term that I’d use.”