Somewhere in the world it’s always happy hour, right? Winter in my hometown might be limiting my poolside action but that is where the beauty of cinema comes in. Here’s my list of top aquatic flicks, feel free to get involved and let me know what I’ve left out.
1. The Swimmer
1968, Burt Lancaster and a v young Joan Rivers (briefly)
This film is a cult favourite in some (small) circles. When I first started this blog it was recommended to me by a few types, mostly people with big beards who work part-time in book stores.
It’s kind of like a 60s swimmers equivalent to the Italian Job, without an actual car chase. The plot synopsis is around an ageing ‘playboy’ who decides to ‘swim’ home via all his rich friends pools across country club Connecticut. Quite a genius idea really, I may attempt something similar across the suburb of Mosman later this Spring.
Anyhow, the ageing playboy is played at the time by 52-year old Burt Lancaster who gets a special mention for looking fairly taut in a time before protein shakes. He does lose points for his Bert Newton style comb-over, however.
The trailer asks “How will you see yourself?” By the end of the film you realise this means complete delusion. Some great lines, especially by the “noble and splendid” Burt himself.
2. The Way Way Back
2013, Toni Collette, Steve Carrell, Sam Rockwell
I visited Wet n Wild on the Gold Coast two years ago and my 32-year-old male friend said it was undoubtedly the best day of his life. If you have that kind of love for a water park, then you are going to love this film.
Basically super nerdy teenager Duncan is forced to spend his summer with his mother’s unlikable new boyfriend (a suitably creepy, Steve Carrell). He gets a job at water park where he is mentored by the super cool Sam Rockwell (how have I never come across this guy before?) and life really looks up. One of my favourite films of last year. Thoroughly enjoyed.
3. Swimming Pool
2003, Charlotte Rampling, Ludivine Sagnier
This creepy French/English film did make me feel like I needed a shower after watching.
Storyline is based around the unsettling English crime writer Sarah, who eats yogurt for every meal and wears socks with sandals (you get the idea).
She becomes obsessed with a much younger hotter French girl who she is forced to share a house with in the South of France and everything goes pear shaped from there. The action all takes place around the, you guessed it, swimming pool (la piscine). The movie poster is possibly the sunniest part of the film, and a very bad mum dancing scene.
4. The Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou
2004, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett
Okay not strictly a swimming pool movie but this has two of my favourite things in it. Bill Murray and lots of stripes.
Up until recently this was my favourite Wes Anderson film (now ecplised by the Grand Budapest Hotel, thanks for asking). It’s ultra quirky, is set mostly on a submarine and has endless scenes to love; glow in the dark jelly fish, stop motion animation, a hunt for a jaguar shark and an underwater dance soundtrack.