Sunday, December 31, 2023

Best of 2023: Number Four

Promising Young Woman was my favorite movie of 2020, so I've been looking forward to Emerald Fennell's follow-up since then. When I heard Saltburn referred to as a kind of Brideshead Revisited and Talented Mr. Ripley mash-up, I knew, if nothing else, it would at least hit the aesthetically pleasing mark.

I was pleased to find it was more than that, although I feel like there's been some backlash against it of late, accusing it of being shallow or meaningless. I don't agree that its either of those things, but also think had it been made by anyone else, it wouldn't be getting that type of criticism. 

Saltburn has plenty to say about class, and yearning, both for a lifestyle and for people who will never have you. And man, does Fennell get the yearning part down; Jacob Elordi and Barry Keoghan have never looked more beautiful than they do in this film. I definitely had my moments of yearning watching them.

I'll say the movie also benefited a lot from seeing it in a crowded theater, as there are some moments in it, and if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about, that elicit such a comedic variety of reactions you don't usually hear unless you're watching a horror movie.

Saltburn isn't perfect, and I can't really argue with those who may issue with it's ending, though to me it works beautifully. I think the ultimate aim of the film is just pleasure and fun, and there's nothing wrong with that. As long as you aren't killing to get it.

Saltburn is currently streaming on Prime Video.

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