Barry Keoghan is about to infiltrate the lives of the elite, one seduction at a time.
Keoghan stars as Oliver, an Oxford student who is drawn into the inner circle of sultry popular boy Felix (Jacob Elordi), and embarks on an epic summer at Felix’s family home.
“Saltburn” is written and directed by Oscar winner Emerald Fennell; the film is her sophomore feature following “Promising Young Woman.” Margot Robbie and Josey McNamara through LuckyChap productions produces the film along with director Fennell.
The official synopsis reads: Academy Award winning filmmaker Emerald Fennell brings us a beautifully wicked tale of privilege and desire. Struggling to find his place at Oxford University, student Oliver Quick (Keoghan) finds himself drawn into the world of the charming and aristocratic Felix Catton (Elordi), who invites him to Saltburn, his eccentric family’s sprawling estate, for a summer never to be forgotten.
Rosamund Pike and Richard E. Grant star as Felix’s parents, with Alison Oliver playing his sister. Breakout actor Archie Madekwe portrays Felix’s cousin, and Carey Mulligan marks a reunion with Fennell in a scene-stealing cameo role as an unhinged houseguest.
Fennell cast Keoghan in the film, which is set in 2006, after seeing his performance in “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.”
“I just thought, ‘That’s a once-in-a-lifetime performer. There’s no equivalent,’” Fennell said. “He’s just so compelling. He’s got a kind of sex appeal and a vulnerability and a physical presence and a sort of darkness, or he can at least communicate these things in a way that is very rare.”
She added that collaborating with Keoghan for the jaw-dropping role was like “holding hands and jumping off a cliff, because a lot of the time we were looking to make something that is sort of visceral and surprising and dark and sexy, and that takes a lot of commitment.”
The IndieWire review called Keoghan a “brilliant and inscrutable” actor who brings a “giddily violent” take on a “chameleonic” character.
“[Oliver’s] sexuality remains as undefined as his agenda, and Felix’s awareness of it proves even more ambiguous,” critic David Ehrlich wrote. “Elordi is further evidence of Fennell’s gift for casting, which she deploys with a savage wit that underlines her dark comic instincts.”
“Saltburn” premieres in select theaters November 17, followed by a wide release November 22. Check out the trailer below.