SALTBURN – Review by Susan Granger

After Promising Young Woman (2022), Emerald Fennell’s auspicious writing/directing debut, her audacious second feature Saltburn is a disappointment. Set in 2006, it’s a twisted, kinky, social-climbing satire revolving around Oliver Quick (Irish actor Barry Keoghan), a guileless ‘scholarship’ Oxford undergrad who cleverly befriends handsome Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), an aristocratic yet surprisingly compassionate classmate. According to Oliver’s tragic backstory, his parents suffered addiction/mental health problems before his father’s recent death – which is why it’s so important to him to wangle an invitation to spend the summer at Catton’s family’s Baroque country estate called Saltburn.

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HE WENT THAT WAY – Review by Nadine Whitney

Now deceased Australian director Jeffrey Darling’s only feature is the definition of “missed opportunity.” It is hoping to be some odd buddy comedy road trip movie with a “misunderstood” psychopath Bobby Falls (Jacob Elordi) hanging out with the broke and desperate Jim (Zachary Quinto) and a soon to be passed his use by date chimp called Spanky (played by Terry Notary’s child Phoenix). What the audience gets instead is a very messy sermon on how Bobby might have been different if someone handled his primal nature with the same care Jim showed Spanky.

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SALTBURN – Review by Nadine Whitney

Emerald Fennell’s baroque psychosexual thriller wants you to have fun. There are lines that are spun with a golden malice. She has no pity for the upper crust and delights in displaying how insular they are and how easily they wield their wealth and titles. Their peccadillos are supposed to be transgressive, but in effect they are just the result of bored rich people needing their fix from extending a form of noblesse oblige.

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PRISCILLA – Review by Susan Granger

In casting Priscilla, filmmaker Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette) chose diminutive 5’1” Cailee Spaeny to play the titular role; she’s visibly dwarfed by 6’5” Jacob Elordi as towering Elvis. Filmed for $20 million in 30 days in Toronto, the film hints that moody, controlling Elvis may have been sexually dysfunctional with a Madonna complex, although rumors were rampant that he had affairs with Ann-Margret, Nancy Sinatra, Connie Stevens, Rita Moreno and Linda Thompson – among others.

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SALTBURN – Review by Diane Carson

Saltburn satirizes the ultrarich in 2006 England. How can a scholarship student at posh Oxford University, England, possibly fit in or relate to his privileged, silver-spoon-in-their-mouths classmates? In writer/director Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn, set in 2006, that’s the dilemma for poor Oliver Quick who looks as drab as others find him. But he has one advantageous attribute, i.e., he watches carefully and assesses individuals astutely.

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PRISCILLA – Review by Diane Carson

Priscilla scrutinizes Priscilla’s and Elvis’ relationship. Solid but unexciting, writer/director Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla painstakingly anchors its story in Priscilla Beaulieu Presley’s relationship with Elvis. It begins with her high school days in 1959 Germany at the Air Force base where her stepfather and Elvis are stationed. Riding the roller coaster of their relationship, it concludes with her leaving Graceland in 1972.

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SALTBURN (Middleburg FF 2023) – Review by Leslie Combemale

From the moment the crimson red, Hammer horror-inspired opening titles show onscreen, the film warns it will not be your usual British uni coming of age story. It wouldn’t be, would it, given that it comes from Emerald Fennell, who brought us Promising Young Woman? That movie, Fennell’s feature debut as writer/director, won her a Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and speaking of promise, made audiences and critics frothy to see what she’d do with her sophomore feature. Though not nearly as original as her first, Saltburn, a sexually transgressive tale of privilege and the desire to belong, allows its lead performer to shine brighter than a diamond encrusted dagger.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Emerald Fennell’s SALTBURN set for holiday release – Brandy McDonnell reports

Oscar-winning writer-director Emerald Fennell will help kick off the cinematic holiday season when her Saltburn bows into theaters in limited release on Nov. 24, which is Black Friday. It will expand to additional theaters Dec. 1. Hailing from MRC Film and Amazon Studios, “Saltburn” also will reunite Fennell with two-time Academy Award nominee Carey Mulligan, who starred in Fennell’s 2020 feature film directorial debut Promising Young Woman.

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SALTBURN – Review by Serena Seghedoni

Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn is a wickedly subversive, exquisitely twisty character study that leaves no room for redemption and satisfying resolutions, and that’s the real genius of it. Fennell defies our expectations and delivers a clever character study disguised as an “eat the rich” satire, where everyone is a horrible person and absolutely deserves what they get.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Sofia Coppola’s PRISCILLA is NYFF Centerpiece – Brandy McDonnell reports

Writer-director Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla will screen as the Centerpiece selection for the 61st New York Film Festival, making its North American premiere Oct. 6 at Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center. Adapted from Priscilla Presley’s best-selling 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, the biopic stars Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla and Jacob Elordi as Elvis. Priscilla is a culminating triumph for Sofia Coppola, a filmmaker with a singular gift for illuminating the interior lives of her characters,” said Dennis Lim, artistic director of the New York Film Festival.

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