Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Saltburn (2023) (Contains Possible Spoilers)


Much heralded film concerns Oliver, a poor young man at Oxford who becomes friends with Felix, a rich young man who invites him home to his family's estate for the summer, where things happen.

Beautifully acted, and magnificently crafted, SALTBURN is a must see for anyone who loves the craft of movies. It is a gloriously made film that I suspect is going to be in the running for a lot of technical awards.

The problem for me is that the films plot is very deliberately constructed and I never truly warned to it.

Blame the fact that I kept feeling the hand of writer director Emerald Fennell moving everyone around. It was the same sensation I had with her earlier film PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN. It also didn't help that Fennell's script wants to be tricky sort pf Patricia Highsmith story, with Oliver being her version of Tom Ripley.  However where Highsmith was very forward about the sociopath Ripley, Fennell hides it and the shock of the reveal is supposed to carry us to the end. I suppose it worked for some, but for me it left me feeling disappointed since Oliver is less compelling as a villain. (Also thematically seems to be saying the poor are shits and not to be trusted-which is fine if you want to believe that despite recent examples set by the uber rich- but I digress)

Is SALTBURN bad? No it's, actually kind of entertaining. How you feel is going to be entirely determined as whether you know Tom Ripley, and who you like better.

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