Swimming Pool (2003) - full transcript

Sarah Morton is a famous British mystery author. Tired of London and seeking inspiration for her new novel, she accepts an offer from her publisher John Bosload to stay at his home in Luberon, in the South of France. It is the off-season, and Sarah finds that the beautiful country locale and unhurried pace is just the tonic for her--until late one night, when John's indolent and insouciant French daughter Julie unexpectedly arrives. Sarah's prim and steely English reserve is jarred by Julie's reckless, sexually charged lifestyle. Their interactions set off an increasingly unsettling series of events, as Sarah's creative process and a possible real-life murder begin to blend dangerously together.

Excuse me, but aren't
you Sarah Morton?

It is you.
I recognize you.

Look, I'm reading
your latest novel.

I love it.

I'm a big fan of inspector Dorwell.
I've read all your books...

You must have mistaken me
with someone else.

I'm not the person you think I am.
Excuse me.

Good morning.
What would you like?

- Whiskey, please.
- Ice?


Yeah. And after
that in all the directories.

And we will renew. Most definitely.
That shouldn't be a problem.

- Just a minute.
- Hello, Sarah. How are you?

- Could be better. Is John in?
- Yes, but he's in a meeting.

Who with?

- Terry Long.
- Who?

Uh, just...

Yeah. I'm in the process
of drawing up the

contract now and it should
be with you shortly.

Yeah, I'm absolutely sure.

Now, you're on
what's called "a roll."

You must keep the momentum going. Take
a short holiday, but nothing too long.


Um, let me introduce you. Sarah Morton,
Terry Long. Terry Long, Sarah Morton.

I'm pleased to meet you. My mother adores
you. She's read all your Dorwell books.

Right. Well, Terry,
always a pleasure.

We'll speak very soon.
And congratulations again on that award.

- I'm sure it's the first of many.
- Oh, geez, John.

Very nice to have met you.

And do hurry.

My mother's awaiting the arrival of
the newest inspector Dorwell book.

So what award
did that little shit get?

The Manchester book critics.

Hardly the booker prize, I know,
but it's not bad for a first novel.

The "little shit," as you call him,
has talent.

I just hope he sells.

- I trust you taught him your favorite motto.
- And what motto's that?

You know damn well.
You drilled it into me 20 years ago.

"Awards are like hemorrhoids.
Sooner or later every asshole gets one."

Did I say that?

My God, you're jealous,
aren't you?

You don't look after me anymore.

Just because I give a
little fledgling some

encouragement does not mean
that I am neglecting you.

Besides, you've never had any problems
finding inspiration for the Dorwell series.

You write with such remarkable ease
I wonder you need me at all.

Okay, Sarah, what's the matter?

Can't be money.
You're rolling in it.

It's incredible. The only thing you can
find to talk about to me is money.

I don't give a damn about money...

Or success!

- I just want to find...
- An inspiring plot.

No. You don't understand.

It's... it's got nothing
to do with inspiration.

I'm... I'm fed up with murders...

And investigations.

Why don't you confound your critics
and write something completely different?

Put Dorwell on the shelf,
as it were.

You didn't like the last one, did you?
I knew it! And you haven't told me.

That's simply not true. You know I've loved
the Dorwell series right from the beginning.

As well you might...
Considering the money they make you.

Do you like France?

I like frogs' legs.

So what?

My house.

Why don't you go there for a while, hmm?
Breathe some fresh air.

It's free, it's out of season,
the weather's glorious.

There's a swimming pool.

Would you come and visit me?

Well. I have got my daughter.

But maybe I'll come
for a weekend.

- Are you Marcel?
- Yes.

Hello, I'm Sarah Morton.

- How was your trip?
- Very nice.

- May I carry this?
- It's on wheels.

- I'll take the small one.
- Thank you.

My car is just outside.


The bedrooms and bath are upstairs,

the kitchen's on the left.

I'll let you take a look around.

I turned on the hot water and gas.

If you need anything,
you've got my number?

- Yes, John gave it to me.
- Good.

To go to the village,

you can take the footpath
I showed you...

Or use the moped in the garage.

The keys are in the ignition.

Thank you, Marcel.

Good-bye, madame.
Enjoy your rest.

- Bonjour.
- Bonjour.

What can I get for you?

- Um...
- An aperitif?


Uh, maybe something lighter?

How about a panache?

No. Just a cup of tea.

Very well.

In Marseilles.
Bus service is drastically reduced.

But the metro is running at 75%.

It's the second strike in two weeks...

And passengers are growing weary...

- Hello?
- Hello, father. It's me.

- Are you all right?
- Yes, I've arrived safely.

- How is the house?
- The house is lovely.

- The weather?
- The weather's gorgeous.

- How is the weather in London?
- Doesn't stop raining.

- Are you all right?
- Yes, I'm okay.

- Have you met anyone?
- No, I haven't seen anyone.

- You shouldn't stay by yourself.
- Try to get out.

Father. Yeah...

Look, father, if there's a problem of
any kind, ask Mrs. Smith for help.

- All right?
- I don't need anyone's help.

Yes. You take care now.

- You too.
- All right. Bye-bye.


- Hello?
- Sarah!

- John, how are you?
- I'm very well.

I should be asking you that question.

So, tell me, how's everything going,
darling? Did Marcel come and fetch you?

Yes, but listen. I have just one thing
to say to you, and that's thank you.

You were right, as usual. Your
house is a little piece of paradise.

- And I've already begun working.
- So soon?

Yes. The idea kept running through
my mind while I was on the train.

You know, one of those stupid things
that just latch on and won't let go.


- I don't know where it's heading, but...
- so, what's Dorwell up to now?

Well, I'm not ready to talk
about it right now.

But I think it might be quite funny.
Anyway, I'm going to wait until I'm sure.

Well, that's marvelous.
Well, I'm glad you're happy.

Have you been out and about yet?

No. I'm just enjoying the
peace and quiet here.


Yeah. So, when are you
thinking of coming?

Um, I don't know.

I'm not sure.
It... it depends on the work, you know.

Um, look, I'm sorry, sweetheart.
I've got another call coming through.

Now, you take care, and call me when you're
ready to read me something, all right?

- Right.
- Fine.

Good-bye, John.

You scared me!

Who are you?
What are you doing in my house?

Your house? This is my house!

I should be asking you.

- Are you English?
- That's correct.

I'm Sarah Morton.
I'm a writer.

And my publisher, John Bosload,
is letting me this house.

So you're daddy's
latest conquest.

You're his daughter?

So what?
Didn't he warn you?

No, he didn't tell me you'd be coming.

I'm not surprised.
Is he here?

No. I'm here on my own.
And I'm here to work.

Maybe he'll come and visit.

I'm glad he's not here.

Are you going to be staying long?

I don't know.
I don't have much work these days.

So, which bedroom did you take?

- The one upstairs overlooking the pool.
- Of course.

That's the best one.
Well, I'm gonna unpack.


Hello. Leave your name,

number and any message
you might have...

And I'll get right back to you.

Bastard! You could have told
me your daughter was coming to your house.

How do you expect me to work now?

It's Sarah. Good-bye.

- I couldn't get through to London.
- Is there anything to eat?

Yes. Go and look for it
in the kitchen.

Personally, I'm gonna go back to bed.
I have to work early in the morning.

Fine. Good night.
Sarah, right?


I'm Julie.

You're not too hot?

Sorry. I woke you up.

No. I was just dozing.

You must be working too hard.

You should have a swim in the pool.
The water's cold. It'll wake you up.

Well, thank you for your advice,
but I absolutely loathe swimming pools.

Yeah, I know what you mean.

I prefer the sea too.

The ocean.
The crashing waves.

The feeling of danger. That you could lose
footing at any time and be swept away.

Pools are boring.

There's no excitement, no...

no feeling of infinity.

It's just a big bathtub.

It's more like a cesspool
of living bacteria.

Oh, that? No, it's just a bit
of dirt and leaves.

So. What are you writing?
A romance novel?

God, no. I write crime fiction.

Oh. Yeah.
That's how he makes his money.

And that's how he can
afford to buy a beautiful

house in France for his
daughter to enjoy.

What about you?
Are your books selling well?

- I can't complain.
- What is this one about?

Murders and
a police investigation.

In the Luberon
with rich English tourists.

Listen, if you don't mind,
I do have work to do.

Okay. I leave you alone,
Miss Marple.

I need to make
some phone calls anyway.

He was at the macumba?

No way!

With Jean-Pierre?

Yeah, right.

What a pervert!

You're gross!

He came back?

I don't know.

Going shopping?

No, I'm going to have
lunch in the village.

Ah, good idea.

By the way, I spoke to Marcel.
He's coming very soon for the pool.

His English bitch
has a broomstick up her butt.

- May I have the bill? Please.
- Yes.

Hello? Don't worry about it.

I'm not going to bother her.
Anyway, it's a big house.

Did you ring mom?

I'm telling you,
she's still waiting, so hurry up.

Yes, c'est ca. Ciao.

It's your publisher.

John? Hello? John?

He hung up.


Hello, this is Sarah Morton.
Could I speak to John, please?

He's gone out.
Oh. Really?

Well, could you ask him to
call me back in France?

Okay then.

Yes, thank you.

He scolded me.
He told me not to bother you.

He said I should leave you alone
so you could work.

Listen, Julie.
I'm going to be Frank with you.

I need peace and quiet
to concentrate.

And since we share
the same living space,

I must ask you just to
go about your business

without getting in the
way of mine, hmm?

I mean, this house is certainly
big enough for the two of us.

So, please make an effort.

I was only trying to be polite
and make friends.

- But if you prefer I don't...
- I don't prefer anything!

I just want to work
on my book in peace.

Fine. That's too bad, though,
because I just bought loads of nice food.

I guess I have to eat
my foie gras all alone.

Ca va?

- We're almost there.
- I'm wasted.

Are you okay?

- Where are we?
- My house.

You live here?

Yeah, I swear!

Can't you turn the music up?

No, the old bag's sleeping upstairs.


Good morning.


I made some coffee, if you like.


I hope we weren't too loud?

I don't speak French.
I can't understand a word.


Get up!

I've got to get to work.

Just a quickie.

I'd love to,
but I've really got to go.

And there's that woman.

- You saw her?
- Yeah, she's outside.

- She's a foreigner?
- Yes.

- English.
- Not bad looking.

So fuck her,
if you like old maids!

I was just kidding.

Want me to drive you?

It's not far.
See you later.

Thanks. It was nice.

- Call me sometime.
- No problem.


- Is everything all right?
- Yes.

Are you from around here?

Yes, Lacoste.
Have you been there?

- No.
- The Marquis de Sade's castle is there.

Oh, right.

I've heard about it.

It's practically in ruins now,
isn't it?

You can say that again.

But there's a nice panoramic view
of the Luberon.

It's beautiful.

I'll let you finish.

Oh, it's you.

Your bedroom's
not big enough for you?

Yes, it is, but he snores like a pig.
I couldn't get to sleep.

Expecting another one?


I've come for the pool.
Julie called.

- Hi, Marcel.
- Hello.

- How are you?
- Not bad.

- You're back already?
- I was sick of work.

I felt like a rest.

This is Sarah, a friend of my father's.

Yes, we've met.

Are you cleaning the pool today?

Isn't that what you wanted, Julie?

Sarah wants to swim,
but it's too dirty for her.


- Where's the girl?
- What girl?

I forget her name.
The little blonde.

Julie, maybe?

That's it.
Julie, right.

Check out in the backyard
by the pool.

I believe she's getting some air.

Thanks, madame.

Bernard, this is Marcel.

- He's my dad.
- Stop joking.

Come on, Marcel!

Going out?

Yes. Do I have to ask
for your permission?

Well, it would be nice if you didn't
make any noise when you came home.

- Yes, mother.
- I pity your mother.

You pity her? Why?

Well, I imagine having a
daughter who comes home

with a different man every night
must be difficult for a mother.

Well, you imagine wrong.
You know what?

You're just a frustrated
English woman...

Who writes about dirty things
but never does them.

You can shove your uptight
morals up your ass.

I was worried
when you didn't come home.

- Are you gonna tell my daddy?
- Yes, maybe I will.

Then why don't you?
He would love it.

I'm not so sure about that.

How can you be so naive?

He's the king of orgies.
Didn't you know?

- Julie?
- Yes?

Would you like to go
out to dinner tonight?

Shall we go?
Are you ready?

Yes, I'm coming.

You're working, as usual.

I was just rereading
an old piece.

This is my underwear.

What's it doing here?

I found it in the garden
near the pool.

Where shall we go?

Not too far.
I'm exhausted.

- I see the waiter isn't here tonight.
- Franck?

- Maybe. I don't know his name.
- It's Franck, a boy from Lacoste.

During the off-season
he only works days.

- I see.
- Do you know him well?

A little. I see him
around sometimes.

You seem to know
just about everyone here.

Well, of course.
I've spent my whole childhood here.

But not with John?


He abandoned us,
my mother and I.

He just came here
for the summer on holiday.

- Do you resent him for that?
- No, not really.

He lives his life, I live mine.

What about your mother,
is she French?

- Yeah.
- Where does she live?

In nice.

Why are you so interested now?

Oh. Oh, I don't know.

Well, maybe you and I
got off to a bad start.

I was angry with you...
well, actually, I was angry at John...

For not really telling me
about you or her.

He's the one you're interested in.

When someone keeps an entire
part of their life secret from you,

it's fascinating and frightening.

I don't deny
that I want to know more.

But don't count on me
to tell you any secrets.

If you wanna know something,
you should ask John.

I'm not asking anyone anything.

Yeah, sure.

You may pretend you don't care,

but I can see you're hoping I tell
you some things about my father.

Actually, I'm more interested
in your mother.

Why don't you live
with her in nice?

- That's a long story.
- Shall we order?

- Yes.
- S'il vous plait.

I was 13 the first time.

I haven't stopped since.

I fell in love once.

We were 16.
It was summertime.

He was... handsome,

romantic, coming from Paris.

His name was Christian.

I was crazy about him.

I wanted him to take me,
but I was too fast for him.

He was a baby. He didn't know
how to do those things yet.

He was terrible.
He came on me after two seconds.

So I dumped him.

He wrote to me for a year,

but I never wrote back.

I remember once in the fort
we built in the forest.

He asked me to marry him.

It's stupid. I know. We were
just kids. But it made me cry.

It was the first time anyone...

I'm sorry.
I'm boring you with my stories.

No. No, go on.
I'm enjoying it.

Go on? With what?

What happened to your eye?

It's nothing.
Some asshole tried to hit me,

but I fought back.

He was bleeding like a pig.

Nobody better mess with me, because
if they do, I'll mess with them back.

I suppose you don't want any?

Why not?

Never judge a book by its cover.

I've done my share of smoking.

- And fucking?
- Yes.

I was around in swinging London.

Yeah. My mom already
told me about it.

What did she tell you?

How she met John.

How she seduced him.

How is your book coming?

It's coming. Although, I must
say, it is quite strange...

To be writing a typically
English story set in London...

While I'm here in this house
in such beautiful weather.

My mom wrote a book too,

but it was never published.

He told her it was awful,
so she burned it.

Well, that's terrible.
Did you read it?

Yeah. I liked it.

It was a bit sentimental,
kind of a Harlequin romance,

but charming.

What was it about exactly?

About her and my father.

It was a love story
with a happy ending.

But what he wants
is blood, sex and money.

That's what you give to him,
isn't it?


But I like all that too.

Did your mother
live in this house?

With my father.

Especially in the summertime.

But once they were truly separated.
She didn't want to come back anymore.

She went to live in nice.

It's really his house.

Did she want him to come and
live with her in France?


She wanted him to leave his wife
and family in London for her.

But John would never do that.

My mother was terrified
to be alone here.

Not me.

I am like you.


Julie, are you here?

- Good evening.
- Hello there.

I'd like you to meet a friend
of mine who's come for a drink.

Hello, madame.
I didn't know you were at Julie's.

I forgot to tell you,
Sarah's a writer friend of my father's.

You didn't tell me you write.

Yeah, mysteries.
So watch your back!

Could you make us a drink, Sarah?

I'll go get some
weed in my room.

Sit down, Franck.
Make yourself at home.

- Whiskey?
- Yes.

Thank you.

This time you're serving me.

Got it.

What shall we drink to?

I don't know.

I know. To Sarah's book.

To Sarah's book.

What's it about?

Oh, I never discuss a book
before it's finished.

How about the last one then?

A police investigation in Scotland.

What was it called?

I don't know the French title.

In English it was
Dorwell wears a kilt.

What? What's that mean?

Dorwell wears a kilt.
That's too funny!

Yeah, really, that's bizarre!

I'll leave you two alone now.

Please, stay for a while.


Come on!

Let's dance!


- Come and dance, Sarah.
- No. No, no.

Please, come on.

- This time it's good night.
- Good night, Julie.

Sweet dreams.

It's good night for me too.

- Do you want to take a midnight swim?
- Another time. I'm beat.

You would have if she came,
wouldn't you?

Stop it, Julie.

Please stay!

- Come on!
- I'm coming.

Get in!

- Hurry up!
- You promise it's not cold?

Is that all?

Come on.
Take it all off!



Stop it!

What are you doing?
Cut it out.

Stop it!

- What are you doing?
- Leaving.

- What the hell are you doing?
- Leaving!

Why now?

Why are you leaving?

- Stay!
- Shut up!

- Please stay!
- Get off me!

What is it?

- Why are you closed?
- We won't be open until tonight.

But you're usually open.
I come every day.

Yes. Franck didn't show
up this morning.

- Why not?
- Maybe he overslept. He often does.

Perhaps something happened to him?

How should I know?
Excuse me. I've got work to do.

- Did you sleep well?
- No.

Where did this blood come from?

- What blood?
- Here, on the tiles.

- - Oh, right.

That must be mine.
I cut myself earlier.

Oh, yes?
And where did you cut yourself?

Leave me alone!


- I know a Franck Durin.
- Yes.

He lives just outside of town
on the way to Bonnieux.

Thank you.
Do you know if he lives alone?

Franck Durin's a bachelor.
He had a girlfriend, but she's long gone.

Anyone home?

Anyone home?



Hello, madame.

I'm looking for your husband.
I need to speak to him.

But I'm not married.

Doesn't Marcel...

John Bosload's gardener,
live here?

He's my daddy.

Pardon me.

- Is he home?
- No.

He's at the Swiss people's house.

Would you tell him to call me?

- Yes.
- Thank you, madame.

But maybe I can help you?

- Do you know Julie?
- Yes.

She's pretty.

Do you have her mother's number?
It's important.

Julie's mother is dead.


It was an accident.

- Hello?
- Could I speak to John Bosload, please?

- It's Sarah Morton.
- Okay then.

Please hurry.
It's urgent.

I'm sorry, Miss Morton.
John's not available.

Well, where is he?

- He's gone out.
- Okay, bye.

You came back!

You came back!

I thought you'd gone!

I thought you'd abandoned me.

But you're here!

You're here! You came back!
Thank you, mummy!

Maman! Maman! Maman!

Julie, I'm not your mother!




Come here.

What happened?


You just fainted.
Everything's fine.

Oh, my head hurts.

It's all right.
It'll go away.

- Julie?
- Yeah?

You must tell me the truth.
I need to know.

About Franck?


I think I killed him.

But why?

I don't know.

For you.

For the book.

Hang on.

Stop it!

- What are you doing?
- Leaving.

- Why are you leaving?
- Shut up, and get off my back.

Get off me!

You're such a pain in the ass.

- Are you done?
- Yeah.

- Okay, now... no, no.
- Get out.

Follow me now.

You'll have to clean up behind.

- Okay.
- Don't forget.

- Good. You've found them.
- Yeah.

I'll take this.

Come on.
Start digging.

I'm so tired.

Not surprising.
It's tiring to kill a man.


- Sarah.
- What?

Thank you.

All right. That's done.

- I'm going to bed now.
- Sarah?

- There's something you forgot to burn.
- What's that?

Your book.

It could be used as evidence.

Did you read it?

No, but I just can imagine.

Well, stop imagining, huh?
Get yourself to bed.

We got work to do tomorrow.

I've thought it over.

We have to carry on with our lives
as if nothing has happened.

You should call Marcel and ask him to
come up this afternoon to do some work.

- Like cut the grass?
- Why not?

It's important for everything to
appear normal... As it was before.

Another thing, did anyone see you with
Franck before the two of you came here?

- No.
- Are you sure?

- Yeah.
- I went to his house.

He lives in an isolated place
outside Lacoste.

And after, we came
directly here in my car.

Did anyone see you
along the way?

I don't think so.

- Did he have any family?
- No. His parents are dead.


Are you going back to London?

Not straightaway.
That would look suspicious.

Why are you helping me, Sarah?

Well, why wouldn't I help you?

I don't know.

Do you think
they will arrest me?

No, not necessarily.

If you do exactly as I say,
I don't think there'll be any problems.

And why should I believe you? Because
you write about murders in your books?




- Sarah.
- Oh.

It's you.

I came to say good-bye. I want
to let you finish your book.

I'm going to Saint-Tropez.

A friend of mine has some work
for me in his restaurant.

It's possibly for the best.

Are you going to tell my father?

John? I've got nothing
to tell him.

You're right.


- Julie?
- Yeah?

How did you get that scar
on your stomach?

Is that for your book?


A car accident.

Good luck.

You too.

I don't really know why I'm doing this.

But after everything
that happened between us.

It seems like the right thing to do.

I lied to you. My mother's book
was not completely lost.

It did burn. But she kept a copy
which she gave to me.

John doesn't know I have it.

Perhaps If I give you
these pages today.

You will bring her back to life.

So If they inspire you.

Take them. Steal them.

They're yours.

Yes, well.

I've read it.
I don't know what to say.

- You didn't like it, did you?
- I wouldn't say that, exactly.

Oh, come on, John. Stop beating
around the bush. Give me the truth.

Well, I don't understand
what you're trying to say.

And I don't recognize you in it.

I thought that's what you wanted.
You wanted something more personal.

Yes, I know, but I...

I don't think writing about feelings
is your strong suit.

Murders, investigations,
that's your line of country.

I mean, this is far too subtle.

It's too abstract.

Where's the action?
Where are the plot twists?

So, what's your advice?

Shall I burn it?

Oh, God, you're so melodramatic.

But for the benefit of your career,
I don't think we should publish it.

Not right now.

Let's have another Dorwell.
Think of your audience.

It's funny. That's precisely
what I thought you'd say.

There you are then.

Come on. You can do
better than this, Sarah.

Actually, I don't think I can.

I think this is the finest piece of
work I've done in a bloody long time.

And because I knew in advance
that you wouldn't like it,

I've taken matters
into my own hands...

And I've given you a surprise.

I've signed with Barken.

Unlike you, they love the book.

Why couldn't you have told me?

There are a few things
that you couldn't tell me.

Keep the book.
Give it to your daughter.

I've signed it for her.

Oh, by the way, you can
tell Terry Long's mother...

That Dorwell will be back
and he's in top form.

- Good-bye, Debbie.
- Bye-bye, Sarah.


- Hi. Debbie.
- Hello Julia. How are you?

- I'm fine. How are you?
- I'm very well. Thanks.

- Is my father around?
- Yeah. I'll tell him you're here.

- Thanks. Hello. John?
- Julia's in reception.

- Okay. He'll be out shortly.
- Thanks, Debbie.