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Saltburn does not have end credit scenes.

Saltburn

Saltburn

2023

As an outsider struggling to fit in at Oxford, Oliver Quick gets swept up in the whirlwind charm of Felix Catton, a charismatic aristocrat who whisks him away to the unconventional world of Saltburn, his sprawling estate.

Runtime: 2 h 7 m

Language:

Ratings:

Metacritic

60

Metascore

tbd

User Score

Metacritic

7.4 /10

IMDb Rating

Metacritic

65.0

%

User Score

Check out what happened in Saltburn!

The narrative commences with Oliver Quick's (Barry Keoghan) candid conversation with an unseen interlocutor regarding his tumultuous relationship with Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi). While acknowledging a deep affection for Felix, Oliver insists that it was not a romantic love he experienced. This dichotomy sets the tone for the complex emotional dynamics that unfold throughout the film.

Fast-forward to 2006, and Oliver finds himself at Oxford University, where his scholarship has afforded him a place among students from more affluent backgrounds. His initial interactions with Michael Gavey (Ewan Mitchell), an awkward and somewhat unsettling individual, do little to ease his sense of isolation. Moreover, he encounters Farleigh Start (Archie Madekewe), whose off-putting nature only adds to Oliver's feelings of disconnection.

However, fate intervenes when Felix, who has taken a liking to Oliver, appears in need of assistance with his bike, which had suffered a flat tire. Oliver's kindness is rewarded with Felix's gratitude, and the two begin to spend more time together. As their bond grows stronger, Oliver deliberately distances himself from Michael's warnings that Felix and his friends will eventually grow tired of him.

In a surprising turn of events, Annabel (Sadie Soverall), Felix's girlfriend, finds herself drawn to Oliver after Felix stands her up. This development is all the more noteworthy given Annabel's initial disdain for Oliver due to his supposed poverty. It seems that fate has a way of confounding expectations, as Oliver's life becomes increasingly entwined with Felix's.

The catalyst for change arrives when Oliver reveals that he has just learned about his father's passing, an event that has left him reeling. Overwhelmed by grief, Oliver turns to Felix, who offers him solace and a chance to join his family at their estate in Saltburn over the summer.

As the boys complete their final exams, Oliver accompanies Felix to Saltburn, where they arrive at the sprawling mansion of Sir James (Richard E. Grant) and Lady Elspeth (Rosamund Pike). This is an opportunity for Oliver to meet Felix's sister Venetia (Alison Oliver), as well as Elspeth's friend Pamela (Carey Mulligan). The atmosphere becomes increasingly tense when Elspeth presses Oliver for invasive details about his family life, a situation that embarrasses Felix and underscores the complexities of their relationship. Meanwhile, Farleigh, who is Felix's cousin, also joins them at Saltburn.

As Oliver's rapport with the Cattons deepens, he finds himself embroiled in a tapestry of tantalizing experiences. The initial stages of his blossoming connection with Felix, Venetia, and Farleigh unfold amidst the sun-kissed serenity of the mansion's surrounding countryside. A carefree afternoon spent lounging au naturel in the lush greenery outside the estate gives way to a more intimate encounter later that day, as Oliver watches Felix indulge in a private ritual beneath the warm glow of the bathroom lights.

As the days pass, Oliver's bond with Felix grows stronger, while he also forges connections with Elspeth and Venetia. A subtle manipulation unfolds as Oliver hints to Elspeth about Pamela's potential involvement in something clandestine, thus prompting her departure from Saltburn. Later that evening, Oliver finds himself drawn to Venetia by the tranquil atmosphere of the garden, where a poignant moment of intimacy ensues, despite her physical vulnerability.

Meanwhile, Farleigh bears witness to this encounter and shares his concerns with Felix, who expresses discomfort at Oliver's involvement with his sister. The cat is soon out of the bag, as it were, when the Cattons host a lively soiree at their estate. A spirited round of karaoke provides the backdrop for Farleigh's playful jabs at Oliver, who is forced to take center stage and serenade the gathering with Pet Shop Boys' iconic hit, "Rent".

As the night wears on, Oliver finds himself drawn into a game of cat-and-mouse with Farleigh, whose room becomes the setting for a tense confrontation. Amidst this charged atmosphere, Oliver's desire for connection and validation simmers just below the surface.

The summer draws to a close, marked by the passing of Pamela, whose demise is shrouded in an aura of tragedy. The Cattons, ever gracious hosts, plan a grand celebration to mark Oliver's upcoming birthday. Felix, however, has other plans, surprising Oliver with a trip to visit his mother – a prospect that seems to fill Oliver with trepidation.

As the boys arrive at the family home, Felix is struck by the stark contrast between reality and Oliver's carefully crafted facade. The discovery of his mother Paula (Dorothy Atkinson) in full bloom, accompanied by his father Jeff (Shaun Dooley), serves as a potent reminder of the lies that have been spun. Felix's incredulity gives way to disgust, as he tells Oliver to bid farewell to Saltburn.

The party that follows is a poignant reminder of Oliver's isolation, as the guests fail to recognize him, leaving him feeling bereft and forlorn. In a desperate attempt to salvage their friendship, Oliver seeks out Felix in the labyrinthine maze outside the mansion. However, Felix has already made up his mind, and Oliver is left to ponder the fleeting nature of human connections.

As the morning sunlight casts an eerie glow, Oliver's ears are met with a cacophony of frantic calls for Felix. The family's search leads them to a gruesome discovery: Felix lies lifeless in the heart of the labyrinthine maze where his tumultuous argument with Oliver had taken place. Fairleigh and Venetia crumple to the ground, overcome by the sheer horror of it all. Later, Oliver is forced to confront an uncomfortable lunch with the family, now joined by Farleigh, whose erratic behavior sparks whispers of substance abuse being a possible catalyst for Felix's untimely demise.

Following Felix's funeral, Elspeth extends an invitation for Oliver to remain at Saltburn, a gesture that belies the darkness brewing beneath its idyllic surface. As Venetia bathes, Oliver slips away to the bathroom, where he becomes the unwitting target of her accusatory gaze. Her words cut deep, insinuating that he has been preying on her family with an unhealthy fixation on Felix, a sentiment fueled by their brief but intense six-month connection.

Tragedy strikes once more when Venetia's lifeless body is discovered, a victim of self-inflicted wounds in the bathtub. The weight of her passing crushes the family, and James's subsequent demand that Oliver vacate Saltburn comes as little surprise. As the years go by, Oliver becomes a distant memory, his name a mere whisper on the wind.

However, the passage of time has not erased the echoes of the past, and Oliver's life is forever intertwined with that of Elspeth, whose failing health brings her to a cozy coffee shop encounter with Oliver. The warmth of their reunion belies the sinister undercurrents driving their conversation. After parting ways, Elspeth issues an invitation for Oliver to return to Saltburn, a gesture that holds the key to unlocking the secrets of his troubled past.

As the film hurtles towards its climax, the truth begins to unravel like a threadbare cloak, revealing Oliver's Machiavellian machinations. He confesses to Elspeth, as she lay dying, that he was responsible for every calamitous event that had befallen her family. His motivations were twofold: a twisted desire to insert himself into Felix's life and a malevolent urge to manipulate those around him.

Oliver's actions had been calculated and deliberate, with each move designed to further his own interests. He had tampered with Felix's bike tire, seeking an excuse to interact with the boy he had grown increasingly obsessed with. The poisoned bottle left in the maze had served as a catalyst for Felix's demise, although Oliver had unwittingly vomited up the toxin himself.

Venetia's downward spiral was also orchestrated by Oliver, who had secretly placed razor blades beside her, sowing the seeds of self-destruction. His email campaign had successfully engineered Farleigh's removal from Saltburn, while Elspeth's eventual signing over of all her assets to Oliver ensured his inheritance of the Cattons' sprawling mansion.

As Elspeth's final breaths ebb away, Oliver reveals a conflicted psyche, torn between love and hatred for Felix. In a grotesque display of emotional release, he dances naked through the halls of Saltburn, "Murder on the Dancefloor" serving as a haunting soundtrack to his malevolent machinations.