Saltburn – Wow!

As a film lover, I like to pride myself on being fairly eclectic. I have certain genres of movies that I love but also like to try different types of films now and again. In fact, I often relish small independent films or movies in foreign languages.

Saltburn caught me by surprise.

I think I first heard about this film randomly on a podcast and then slowly, it crept into my life. First, the BBC radio presenters kept talking about it; then my friends were telling me I had to check this quirky project out, so we could discuss its highlights. I was assured it was nothing but “quirky.”

What’s Unique?

This unique story of a university lad who made friends with an aristocrat’s son is definitely an eye-opener. Starting slowly and easing the viewer in, the script then takes us on a whirlwind adventure involving parties, fantasy, curiosity, and moments of complete insanity.

Although it isn’t a horror, there were moments that I wanted to cover my eyes.

Starring Barry Keoghan (from Dunkirk) as Oliver and Jacob Elordi (The Kissing Booth) as Felix, this roller coaster of a screenplay was thrilling. With beautiful scenes and incredibly awkward moments, Emerald Fennell directed a stellar cast. Rosamund Pike and Richard E. Grant played Felix’s welcoming but archaic parents, and Carey Mulligan had a short segment as aptly named ‘Poor Dear Pamela.’

With groundbreaking scenes of sexual weirdness, this film is not for the faint-hearted.

Final Thoughts

This movie has gotten a lot of attention lately on social media because of some controversial scenes. The storyline is unpredictable and interesting, and the acting is brilliant.

The screen is shaped like a 1990s TV with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio rather than the usual rectangular movie cinema frame. This touch adds something — which again, enhances its appeal.

I totally recommend watching Saltburn, which is currently available on Amazon Prime. Its runtime is 2 hours and 11 minutes and will easily maintain most people’s interest.

Have you seen Saltburn and discovered its peculiarities yourself yet?

Check out my review of Wonka – The Movie and please consider following my blog for similar future content.

Wonka Movie Review

Since I was a boy I have loved Roald Dahl books. My teacher read the BFG to me when I was six and I was immediately sold by her brilliant character accents and the excellent narrative. Successive teachers read George’s Marvellous Medicine, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and, my favourite – The Witches. Roald Dahl was an author I admired, found hysterical and wanted to be.

Hearing that Netflix had bought the rights to every single Roald Dahl book led me to realise that it would only be a matter of time before they did something with Wonka.

As soon as they cast Timothy Chalamet in that pivotal role, I knew they were onto something.

Recently I went to my local cinema to see if Wonka was any good.

My Thoughts On Wonka

Realising they were taking key characters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and telling the story of how Mr Wonka became successful, I was instantly drawn in. I had so many questions and there was so much room for something to go wrong.

Suffice to say, the production team created something which was absolutely wonderful. Timothee Chalamet began with a new song and I realised we were in for a musical treat.

I just hadn’t expected a new musical score.

When he started using Roald Dahl quotes such as, ‘Scratch that. Reverse it,’ I knew we were in good hands.

Olivia Colman played the owner of an Inn where Wonka stayed the night. Her character, Mrs Scrubbit, was very amusing and had it in for Wonka. While he tried to show off his chocolate creations at the Gallerie Gourmet, Wonka was pursued by corrupt forces and given a hard time by a cheeky little Oompa Loompa, played be a devilish Hugh Grant.

A highlight for me was Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) playing a bishop who allowed access to a chocolate vault via his confession booth. The faces he pulls are always enough to make me laugh. I remember meeting him once (he lived near me for a long time) and seeing what a quiet and gentle person he was.

But let’s be honest, this film was all about Timothee and rightly so. He was brilliant, dancing, singing and charming his way through a narrative that was magical and thoroughly captivating.

In A Nutshell

This production was made by the producer of Harry Potter, David Heyman, and the director of Paddington, Paul King. It was a love letter to Roald Dahl and his brilliant writing. Although it was a prelude to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it included plenty of Dahl quotes, characters and storylines. Remember that the Oompa Loompa history was first mentioned in Roald’s book and it is that which was embellished by the movie.

Thank you for taking the time to read my Wonka movie review. Here is a recent post I wrote about Two TV Shows Worth Watching. Follow my blog for future similar articles.

The Barbie Movie Is Cleverer Than You Think!

Going to watch the Barbie movie on Saturday, I wasn’t bothered by the hype or anyone else’s views. I knew I would like it because Margot Robbie always makes good choices and Greta Gerwig is a genius director.

But I still wondered if it might be too childish even for me?

Now I can reflect on the movie which has generated over a billion dollars in just a fortnight. It has nearly made twice the money of The Little Mermaid and has initiated many eye-opening conversations.

Challenging Attitudes

I suppose I half expected Barbie to challenge stereotypes. There was no way this film was ever going to be a straightforward celebration of cheesiness.

Although don’t get me wrong… There was plenty of cheese. More than enough to spread on 1000 pieces of toast.

But YES – Greta did good! She made the film fascinating. She drew parallels between Barbieland and The Real World. In Barbieland women ruled – they had a female president and women doctors, lawyers and law makers. Back in The Real World, men were in charge, as Barbie and Ken discovered when they travelled there (in the most hilarious way – by jet ski, rocket, camper van and roller blades).

Don’t Forget Ken

Poor old Ken is always just a sidekick. Played by Ryan Gosling (famous for LaLaLand), he is superficial (Ken, not Ryan), not very intelligent and depends on the gaze of Barbie to maintain a purpose and satisfaction.

When he follows Barbie to find the real girl who is playing with Barbie in distress, he recognises the toxic masculinity that involves men running companies, pumping iron and acting selfishly. Let’s not pretend it doesn’t happen BUT not all of us men are like that. Anyway, he likes what he sees and takes those traits back to Barbieland and the rest would involve spoilers.

Margot deserves an Oscar for this performance. It is nuanced, comedic and full of emotion.

There… I said it… I think her acting is up there with Cate Blanchett in this movie. She is also the producer of this and used her company – LuckyChap – to create this cheeky but thought-provoking narrative.

And Finally…

I may be biased as I have loved Margot ever since she played Donna Freedman in my favourite soap opera ‘Neighbours’. Even at the height of her fame she was happy to appear in the final episode of Neighbours last July. Thankfully Neighbours is coming back care of Amazon Freevie and Margot will always stay close to this show – her brother was recently in Neighbours as well.

With intriguing cameos and a fantastic cast which includes three members of Sex Education (Netflix), this is a fabulous movie which I would rate five stars.

Another great contribution comes from the cheeky narrator, played by Helen Mirren, by the way.

Barbie started off as cliche but ended up beating the living daylights out of stereotypes. I loved the way Barbie was able to talk to her creator and discuss her purpose which was to inspire young people. Not to be a bimbo!

I would totally recommend swallowing your pride and popping along to the cinema to watch this brilliant masterpiece.

If you want to find out my thoughts about the other big movie out right now, check out my review of Oppenheimer. Please also consider following my blog for similar future content.