From the same Italian director who made I Am Love, also with Tilda Swinton, [and also quite wonderful, and on Netflix btw] comes this perplexing but delightful little movie, which I don’t pretend to understand, but I liked very much. Tilda plays a world-renowned rock star who is vacationing in a rented villa on an island in Italy with her beauhunk boyfriend, played by Matthias Schoenaerts of Bullhead. Tilda is not allowed to speak because she is supposed to rest her voice, and you’d be surprised the impact having a character who is unable to speak has on an overall movie. It certainly doesn’t make her retreat into the background, that’s for sure.
They’re happily enjoying their quiet idyll when Ralph Fiennes, Tilda’s ex-husband and manager, shows up with his young daughter, played by Dakota Johnson. Now, you know that Dakota Johnson is the spawn of the loins of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, do you not? That’s just an aside. Ralph is a very loud, obnoxious cokehead, and he immediately clashes with quiet, smoldering hunk Matthias, who just wants to be quietly sexy and give seductive half-smiles. Ralph kind of takes over the whole place, and causes everyone to react to him. There is also the lingering question of whether he is actually sleeping with his daughter, and she’s enough of a quiet, immature, persistently annoying presence that one has no doubt it could be the truth.
It goes on from there, not a lot happening, but all of it engrossing and engaging, and you know: pretty people in pretty places. Something major happens, requiring some quick thinking and revealing one person as not entirely what they seem [or perhaps what they seemed like all along] and while a friend of mine found it all pointless [one does not come away with a cohesive statement], I also found it somewhat pointless, but also revealing and interesting and insightful and in general, I liked it very much. Definitely one of those slow, talky, meandering foreign films in which not much happens, but if you’re into that, it’s like a nice little vacation in your mind, with great actors, and a smoldering beauhunk.