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I was quite nervous when I saw this. I was expecting a sort of hybrid of "Another Country" meets "Brideshead Revisited" as the story of "Ollie" (Barry Keoghan) and his aristocratic pal "Felix" (Jacob Elordi) unfolds. Both are at Oxford university, but the former man is very much a poor relation of his well-heeled contemporaries. One afternoon, though, he comes to the aid of "Felix" lending him his bike, and what now ensues is a friendship that sees the two gradually start to bond and for the latter to invite his new friend to his eponymous stately pile as a guest of his mother (Rosamund Pike) and father (Richard E. Grant). Tagging along throughout this experience is the slightly malevolent and jealous "Farleigh" (Archie Madekwe) as their summer vacillates from the hedonistic and enjoyable to the ghastly and tragic. It's a bit of a slow starter, but once we arrive at the ancestral pile the story starts to gather pace and "Ollie" proves to be quite adept at navigating - even manipulating - the frequently quite treacherous environment in which he finds himself. It is definitely too dialogue heavy, but Keoghan is good here and there is quite an effectively building degree of menace as we start to realise that maybe things aren't all quite what they seem. I found Madekwe also rather good as the odious hanger-on (only a posher one) and Carey Mulligan walks quite a characterful tightrope too. The photography and aesthetic of the film along with Anthony Willis's score all add a degree of richness to a story that isn't as derivative as I feared. I can't think it's a film I will remember in a few years, but it is well worth a watch as Mr Keoghan continues on his journey to what must be greater success.
Sometimes you come across a filmmaker whose works you just don’t like. And now, after two features in, I can honestly say that about writer-director Emerald Fennell. I didn’t care much for her debut outing, “Promising Young Woman” (2020), and I can say the same (and more) about her follow-up effort, “Saltburn.” This alleged thriller about a seemingly awkward but quietly sinister Oxford student (Barry Keoghan) who ingratiates himself into a family of wealthy English aristocrats features a story and characters about whom, quite frankly, I couldn’t care less. (Think “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (2017) with a cast of eccentric old money cronies and a wolf in sheep’s clothing.) This assemblage of utterly reprehensible characters living utterly reprehensible lives and zealously adhering to utterly reprehensible values fails to engender viewer empathy, interest or even connection. Much of the narrative is predictable and glacially paced, incorporates sequences that are included for little more than forced shock value, features monodimensional and blatantly obvious (almost trite) character development, and frequently stumbles in attempts at humor that are wedged in largely for the sake of convenience or calculatedly timed comic relief. It’s the kind of picture that prompts regular looks at one’s watch to see how much more one must endure and delivers welcome sighs of relief when the end finally comes. What’s more, given the combined talent pool for this production, it’s a genuine shame to see the likes of Rosamund Pike, Carey Mulligan and Richard E. Grant relegated to supporting roles in which their abilities are sorely underused. And then there’s the excessively hammy performance of Keoghan, who’s quite obviously (and knowingly) acting and not disappearing into the bona fide portrayal of a character. In all, this offering feels like a picture that tries awfully hard to see how much it can get away with, especially when seeking to invoke dropped jaws among audience members, much as this director’s cinematic predecessor attempted to do. Save your money, and don’t waste your time on this vastly overrated release from a vastly overrated filmmaker.
Has a case of the samesies on the final chapter. I think we get it. I liked the people. Fun characters outside of you know who. Does anyone really say the vampire line? Great character reveal in the slurp. For me, the explanation station took away from the experience. Feels sloppier the more you see. But then you see it all. Giant slopfest.
**Overall** **Entertaining** This movie was a refreshing experience. Well directed with tight plot. Leaving the viewer always wondering what’s going to happen next? There are some potholes and forced nudity (incongruent), but the good plot makes up for these minor shortcomings. Overall, I enjoyed this movie 7/10
Black comedy / psychological drama of Amazon, directed and written by Emerald Fennell (from the magnificent promising Young Woman and Barbie). This one is a bit tricky one to review without spoilers so if want to see the review stop right here. It tells a story about the scholarship student Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan) early in the 2000 that struggle to be accepted into the high class Oxford University. He manages to met Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi) a popular student and befriends it being closer and closer in friendship with him, till he shares his sad family story background. Then he is invited to be at vacations at Saltburn, an magnificent summer place in the fields of England where he meets the eccentric and decadent family of Felix, Rosamund Pike (Lady Elspeth Catton, Felix's mother), Richard E. Grant (as Sir James Catton, Felix's father), Alison Oliver (as Venetia Catton, Felix's sister) and Archie Madekwe (as Farleigh Start, Felix's annoying cousin). With a solid production structure with cinematography by Linus Sandgren (I must highlight this one how it works adjusting to the mood of the unfolding story), edition by Victoria Boydell and music by Anthony Willis, the movie have it greatest merit in an area that Fennel already showed before - the script. Simplifying all things the story that have some sordid sex scenes and gives hints that Ollie isn't so nice in the head as he seems, it develops almost like Promising Young Woman, to a revelling ending of a serial killer and social alpinist in the last 30min of the movie. Not something that we wouldn't foresee by the attitudes of the protagonist and background of the director / writer but nice anyway. So much that seems that I enjoyed it more than most of the people I follow. Guess that we maybe have another contender for Academy nomination of screenplay, director and acting here. A Solid 7.9 out of 10.0 / B+ here.
**It's been a long while since I stumbled upon a film that wasn't painfully predictable.** What struck me the most was this bizarre yet fascinating connection I developed with a psychopath. It sounds odd, but the film masterfully reels you into this vortex of the character's emotions and psyche. And then, somewhere along the line, it cleverly severed this connection, leaving me... adrift. However, what really resonated with me was the cinematography. The camera work, grading, lighting – everything seemed meticulously crafted to enhance the narrative and the mood of the film. There were moments where I was simply awe-struck by the beauty of a single shot. Worth watching.
I'm disturbed. Outstandingly disturbed, mind you. It is very out there as it features some uncomfortable moments, but that's never a bad thing if it's done right... and boy is it here. The film does an excellent job at making it all fit, which is actually quite impressive. Main plot-wise, it's not a hard one to predict... or at least not quite as unpredictable as the film possibly thinks it is based on the 'reveals' (?) at the end, but again: never a bad thing if done correctly. The main takeaway from all this is certainly the unsettling stuff. This 2023 production also holds fantastic cast performances. Barry Keoghan is top notch, I've seen various people online rave about him as an actor but I hadn't really seen it until now. Jacob Elordi merits praise too, as does Rosamund Pike - another one I haven't previously been too keen on, though she is fun here. In fact, on paper it's an iffy cast to me. In reality, the cast are perfect. Credit also to Richard E. Grant, Alison Oliver and Archie Madekwe. No doubt, 'Saltburn' is a great movie! A must-watch, I'd say. Emerald Fennell is two for two with me now, after I also highly enjoyed 'Promising Young Woman' (same rating, fwiw).
I'd seen this film advertised at my local cinema but written it off as the description, in not giving anything away, sounded like Brideshead re-revisited. Then having heard some hype I couldn't see how it could be rated 15. But you know how in films, people would kiss, then suddenly be lying in bed smoking; as adults, we’ve been there, and we know they’ve just had sex, but how could a censor or anyone argue with what was actually shown. If you watch ‘The Good Place’ or ‘The Simpsons’, there are parts where you laugh along with the writers but you know it’ll go over kids’ heads. This was definitely a 15 in what it showed but I blushed at what was inferred. Having heard of ‘the bath scene’ or the ‘graveyard scene’, I was concerned, and more surprised by the 'vampire' scene and that the necrophilia actually occurred elsewhere. Or was that just my perverse adult imagination!
Following Ah Man’s arrival in Hong Kong as a stowaway, the Vietnamese teenager seeks out his cousin for help to earn a living. Thereafter he becomes an apprentice with a compatriot Vietnamese painter. One day, Ah Man accidentally discovers his cousin’s disgraceful secret, while the painter faces deportation for his own illegal residency status. The Boy from Vietnam marked the debut of Ann Hui’s Vietnam Trilogy.
Story of a young U.S. Army officer, stationed in England during World War II, who is suddenly conscious of a desire to "prove" himself sexually.
A young German woman bonds with an elderly Japanese woman while touring the Fukushima region of Japan in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake.
Martina and Sofía love each other and want to start a family, but the process is proving to be difficult and expensive… very expensive. Martina naively makes a reckless decision: she devises a crazy plan to get pregnant and she succeeds. Now he has two serious problems to solve: first, that Sofía never agreed with the plan and she is very furious, and second, that the "plan", whose name is Facundo, wants to enter their lives since he has just discovered his unexpected paternity.
In 1977, a disco star takes a mysterious kind of acid at a party that causes everyone to suddenly vanish. In the present day, a one eyed drug dealer and the man that punched his eye out return to the scene to take the acid with a strange young woman.
A sensitive girl is sent to an all-girls boarding school and develops a romantic attachment to one of her teachers.
Viola Hastings is in a real jam. Complications threaten her scheme to pose as her twin brother, Sebastian, and take his place at a new boarding school. She falls in love with her handsome roommate, Duke, who loves beautiful Olivia, who has fallen for Sebastian! As if that were not enough, Viola's twin returns from London ahead of schedule but has no idea that his sister has already replaced him on campus.
When the dead discover a means to contact the living through electronic devices, cellphones and computers become open gateways to monstrosities and destruction.
Get ready for a wildly diverse, star-studded trilogy about life in the big city. One of the most-talked about films in years, New York Stories features the creative collaboration of three of America's most popular directors, Martin Scorsese, Francis Coppola, and Woody Allen.
After twelve years in prison, Walter returns home. His family has abandoned him, save for his brother-in-law. Few know he's a sex offender and pedophile. Walter finds an apartment and is regularly visited by his parole officer. He gets a job at a lumber mill and starts seeing a coworker. Then his new world begins to unravel; as his past becomes known, he strikes up a high-risk friendship with a young girl and realizes that a man loitering near a schoolyard is a child molester prowling for his next victim.
A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States - Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit.