Saltburn Oscars

Since Saltburn got no Oscar nominations, maybe we can now all come to our senses

A film this mid never deserved to become a cultural phenomenon

When the 2024 Academy Awards nominations were announced yesterday, I felt very validated – Saltburn is nominated for no Oscars at all. At all. Despite my misgivings for Emerald Fennell’s second film, I was shocked to see the Academy didn’t nominate Saltburn in any Oscars categories whatsoever. Fennell’s first film Promising Young Woman won Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars, and received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress for Carey Mulligan. In my opinion, it’s heads and shoulders a better film than Saltburn – but what PYW didn’t have was Saltburn’s cultural impact. The Saltburn frenzy of the last few months is something I don’t think anyone was expecting. But now Saltburn has received a grand total of 0 nominations at the 2024 Oscars, perhaps it’s finally time we all come to our senses.

When I watched Promising Young Woman, I gave it five stars. I watched it again a few days later because I was that obsessed with it – and I again gave it five stars on a rewatch. I loved Emerald Fennell’s directing style, her witty writing, the soundtrack – just an incredible film. Obviously, because of all that, my hype for Saltburn was astronomical. I’m also a huge fan of Barry Keoghan in literally anything he does – so if there was any eager audience for Saltburn it was me. I should have been spearheading the cultural phenomenon and single-handedly streaming Sophie Ellis-Bextor 50 times a day to get Murder on the Dancefloor up the UK singles chart.

Admittedly, this was a highlight

But watching Saltburn the first time was sobering. It’s a mess of a film. The first half is gorgeous; a wonderful time capsule of 2006 uni life with a euphoric soundtrack and Jacob Elordi changing lives with his sexiness. Wow. But it’s a film that throws away its merit with a clumsy, clunky and cringe final act that bins off satisfying endings in favour of twists. There isn’t much between the ending of Saltburn and the general vibe of Netflix’s recent Michelle Keegan vehicle Fool Me Once. If you’re the kind of casual viewer who enjoys things for twists, then I guess Saltburn might be the film for you!

Saltburn frenzy is hard to pinpoint. I’m not sure if it happened because of clips going viral on TikTok, if it’s because we all just fancy Jacob Elordi or if it’s because its pretty speedy emigration from cinemas to Amazon Prime got people rapidly seeing what all the fuss was about. I also suspect its mainstream mass appeal blew people’s minds who aren’t used to the weirder side of cinema, because admittedly the three scenes Fennell put in Saltburn to get lips moving are obviously talking points.

The rise of Saltburn I think has inadvertently made people think it must ergo mean it’s a great film that deserves awards. It is not a great film that deserves awards, it’s a pretty entertaining mess that will stand as a nice little time capsule in pop culture where we all went a bit feral over Christmas and uncomfortably watched Barry Keoghan slurp some bathwater cum with our extended families. Now the Academy has brought us down to earth, let’s all move on with our lives.

Saltburn is streaming now on Amazon Prime. For all the latest film, reality TV and entertainment news and gossip, like Pop Culture Shrine on Facebook

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