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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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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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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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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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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BABYLON – Review by Susan Granger

Babylon is a grotesquely graphic, three-hour mess of a movie about early Tinseltown!

Focusing on an era of decadent, depravity that’s the antithesis of his musical fantasy La La Land (2016), writer/director Damien Chazelle’s saga begins in the Roaring 1920s as Manny Torres (Diego Calva), an ambitious Mexican production assistant, navigates the tortuous hills of Hollywood to deliver a ‘live’ elephant to an extravagant, coke-fueled Bacchanalia, a messy job that doesn’t end as expected.

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