After Emerald Fennell's feature directorial debut, 'Promising Young Woman', it was apparent that she was one my new favourite directors. I was hooked and quickly anticipating what she was going to do next. 'Saltburn' was announced as her second feature, and I was counting down the days to see it.
Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan, 'The Banshees of Inisherin', 'Eternals') is a very awkward high-achieving student at Oxford University. Struggling to find friends, he is instantly drawn to Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi, HBO's 'Euphoria', Netflix's 'The Kissing Booth'), who is extremely charming and comes from wealth, unlike Oliver. For summer break Felix invites him to come to Saltburn for an unforgettable experience. There, Oliver meets the extended Catton family, Elsbeth (Rosamund Pike, 'Gone Girl', 'Radioactive'), Sir James Catton (Richard E. Grant, 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie', 'Kath & Kimderella'), Venetia (Alison Oliver, TV's 'Conversations with Friends') and Farleigh Start (Archie Madekwe, 'Midsommar', 'Gran Turismo').
I think it's important to start by saying this film is not for everyone. There are a lot of "weirder" moments that I can see being massive turnoffs for some audience members. However, if you are on board, 'Saltburn' is an extreme delight. It's uncomfortable, it's funny, it's sexy, it's gorgeous, it packs so much into its 131-minute run time, and I was along for the ride. I went in thinking it would be just a artsy semi-romantic romp, but there is so much more to 'Saltburn' than meets the eye.
Cinematographer Linus Sandgren ('La La Land', 'Babylon') and production designer Suzie Davies ('The Courier', 'Mr Turner') absolutely knock it out of the park and are performing at the top of their game, making this one of the most stunning looking films of the year.
It's uncomfortable, it's funny, it's sexy, it's gorgeous, it packs so much into its 131-minute run time, and I was along for the ride.
The cast is also incredible. Barry Keoghan draws you in and as the films begins to spiral soars even further. Jacod Elordi, look I get it now, he is ridiculously attractive and is truly one of the best young actors working right now. Rosamund Pike absolutely knocked my socks off and I swear she studied Lisa Vanderpump for this role; she is eating up every scene she is in.
'Saltburn' may take some uncomfortable turns and the trailer does a great job of giving a taste of what is to be expected. It's a twisted dark comedy that may not be from everyone but if you are on board, it's a delightfully tangled trip to Saltburn.