starring Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant
written and directed by Emerald Fennell
by Walter Chaw People keep expressing in the weariest, archest way how disappointing Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan) has turned out to be, or, if they're more passive, how they do hope he doesn't end up like the last one--you know, that one; why do they all end up that way? Well, who wouldn't snap under that kind of aristocratic disapproval, I ask you? It's like if Jay Sherman's butler caught you nicking from the buffet table. And indeed, all of Emerald Fennell's insufferable Saltburn is like The Talented Mr. Ripley written by Fleabag--if Patricia Highsmith and Phoebe Waller-Bridge were trying to follow up an underbaked piece of shit with another underbaked piece of shit while producers were still bedazzled by her empty, shit-eating bullshit. Sorry, I mean to say Saltburn is hackwork that doesn't know what it's trying to say because Emerald Fennell, a member herself of the larded gentry, isn't remotely self-aware enough to recognize the extent to which she's completely bought into her systemic privilege and its attendant noblesse oblige. Yes, good Queen Emerald has a story to tell about how bad her people are. Now listen up, peon.