Film & Television

Film reviews: Saltburn’s smart, pointed drama starts strongly but descends into ludicrousness

Elsewhere, a Christmas film with a difference; and The Crown makes an odd choice in depicting the departed

Barry Keoghan and Archie Madekwe in Saltburn

Emerald Fennell made an explosive entry into filmmaking with her debut Promising Young Woman, which built on the acid rage of her provocative television drama Killing Eve and won her a Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 2021. Where that film skewered the patriarchy, her follow up, Saltburn, takes on another crumbling, unequal institution: the British aristocracy.

Composed of bits of Evelyn Waugh and Patricia Highsmith, and a pallid imitation of both, Fennell’s hotheaded cuckoo-in-the-nest story ...