It will be a long long time before you encounter a character quite like Oliver Quick again. Masterfully created by actor Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk and The Banshees of Inisherin), his performance is unsettling from the first frame and is one filled with strange idiosyncrasies. It’s also very brave for a young actor at this point in his career.
Oliver is the odd man out. A student at Oxford that can claim neither money nor position. When he comes into contact with fellow student Felix Catto (Jacob Elordi) he sees him as possessing everything he fancies. Rich and from a family of privilege, he is great with the ladies and comfortable in his own skin. It is everything Oliver is not.
When he is invited to vacation at the Catton residence, a huge estate called Saltburn, he gets a glimpse of a way of life he’s always coveted. The social commentary on the vapid and disconnected reality of the super-rich is played out in bold and often hilariously broad strokes. Especially the lady of the manor Elspeth Catton (Rosamund Pike).
Just like trying to hold sand in a clenched fist, the tighter you try to hold the reality of Satltburn in your mind, the more it slips away. It is filled with so many odd and confronting moments, it keeps you guessing until the very end. Even when things happen that you see coming, the filmmakers have put a unique slant on them. See this as it’s unlike anything else out there at the moment.