I watched this movie years ago, and had no idea what was going on. Time has allowed me to appreciate this subtle film, which starts slow but veers suddenly into a thriller. Spoilers ahead.
The eponymous pool is a metaphor for sexual awakening, both of the young girl Julie and the older, successful Sarah, and they experience the incidents that follow in very different ways. Julie is a bratty, precocious girl who just wants a sentimental romance. Sarah begins grim and disapproving but is invigorated by the sex and violence, and is able to show a very charming side. Throughout there are subtle themes of people making their lives imitate art, and art being informed by life – Julie tells Sarah “for your book”.
Julie’s boredom and aimlessness come through in her random hookups. By contrast, all Sarah’s sex is purposeful and deliberate, the result of her writer’s mind.
I suspected something like the twist ending, but it was still great. Supposedly there are themes hidden in the colours of scenes and various props, but I enjoyed the movie without picking that level up.
Both actresses are excellent, though I was amused by Sarah’s so-so French accent.