Viewers are in love it or hate it camps. I loved it.
Emerald Fennell brings us the story of two young men who meet at Oxford University. Felix Catton is popular, urbane and beautiful. Oliver Quick is the opposite of these, and an unlikely friendship forms.
The connection between the two is intense.
When Oliver spends the summer at Saltburn, the relationship takes a turn. Felix' family are aristocratic, and the opulent stately home becomes a playground. I loved the 'tour' of the house that Felix gives Oliver. "Heres an old Ruebens, theres a first folio of Shakespeare".
Oliver ingratiates himself with the eclectic and dysfunctional family. Richard E Grant as the laidback father. Rosamund Pike as a neurotic and needy mother.
The Cattons are so rich and detached, they feel ripe for plucking.
Yet, nothing will prepare you for the journey. From the opening scenes at Oxford, to the closing scene, I was transfixed.
Barry Keoghan as Oliver, is outstanding in this; persuasive, sinister and depraved. Felix is played by Jacob Elordi, fresh from Euphoria. He plays the rich kid perfectly, both louche and beautiful.
It IS a contentious film, there were scenes which made me cringe but the script and acting were top-class. Emerald Fennell has realised an extraordinary story, and get a film made with actors that can match it.
Alongside the younger stars, the supporting cast are top-notch. Carey Mulligan shows up as a damaged aunt, and Rosamund Pike and Richard E Grant as the parents are terrific.
I highly recommend Saltburn, it's my first five-star film of 2024. I'd watch it again in a heartbeat, but now I know when to close my eyes for the cringy scenes.