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The Student News Site of Paschal High School

Pantherette

The Student News Site of Paschal High School

Pantherette

“Saltburn” Review

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Farleigh (Archie Madekwe) comments on Oliver Quick’s (Barry Keoghan) long suit sleeves during a scene at the Oxford Ball.

Since the release of Emerald Fennell’s film “Saltburn,” I have been stunned. “Saltburn” is deliciously, wickedly mean, often surreal, and has lush production values and performances. As writer and director, Fennell clearly intends to amuse and provoke, and she achieves both of those goals by a long run. With a running time of two hours and seventeen minutes, the plot of “Saltburn” holds our hands and guides us through the lead character’s schemes, when a tantalizing sense of ambiguity becomes too powerful.

 

Emerald Fennell is an English filmmaker and writer. She has received many awards and nominations, including an Academy Award, two British Academy Film Awards, one Screen Actors Guild Award, and nominations for three Primetime Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards.

 

Emerald Fennell followed up the amazing act of her Oscar-winning feature debut, “Promising Young Woman (2020),” with another spectacular film. Like the 2020 film, which earned Fennell an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay among its five nominations, “Saltburn” succeeds in slashing our expectations about how people are supposed to behave in polite society. Fennell holds up a magnifying glass to an esoteric world and exposes the truth of human nature: its queasy mix of desire and disposability. 

 

Barry Keoghan gives a deeply unsettling performance as Oliver Quick, a scholarship student at Oxford University who arrives as a freshman and, in time, courts himself with the popular clique. Specifically, he sets his sights on Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), a student who moves through the world with cool ease. Needy and creepy, Oliver wants to be with him but also wants to be him, and the patience of his sociopathic long game is impressive. Among them is Felix’s queer cousin, Farleigh, played by Archie Madekwe. Farleigh is a bit of an outsider himself and he’s naturally suspicious of Oliver’s intentions as he fiercely protects his spot among the cool kids. All these tensions and manipulations come to a slow boil over the summer at Saltburn, Felix’s family estate. 

 

Saltburn added $1.7 million across the Thanksgiving three-day weekend, and around $2.7 million across the extended five-day frame, taking its running domestic total to a hair over $3 million. The movie has also generated $3 million so far from overseas markets, for an early global haul of $6.2 million. Saltburn premiered at this year’s Telluride Film Festival to mostly positive response, although reviews have been decidedly more mixed ever since its commercial release. The film currently sits at a 71% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but my rating is five full stars. 

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About the Contributor
Elise Anderson, Reporter
Elise Anderson (12) is a reporter for the Paschal Pantherette. This is her first year on the Pantherette but she has been on the R.L. Paschal Yearbook. She is excited to experience working on the Pantherette. Elise loves film and runs the PHS Film Club.
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