‘Saltburn’ will bring Barry Keoghan back to Golden Globes

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Barry Keoghan landed his first Oscar nomination last year for his supporting turn in Martin McDonagh‘s “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Co-star Brendan Gleeson was also nominated but they both lost to “Everything Everywhere All at Once” player Ke Huy Quan. However, the big takeaway was that Keoghan had officially arrived.

The Oscar nomination preceded key turns in Christopher Nolan‘s “Dunkirk” and Chloé Zhao‘s MCU movie “Eternals,” while he also played the Joker in a deleted scene in Matt Reeves‘ “The Batman.” Keoghan has quickly risen through the ranks of Hollywood stars and now is one of the most interesting actors currently working.

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His latest role comes in Emerald Fennell‘s sophomore outing as a director — her biting, satirical comedy-drama “Saltburn,” from Amazon MGM Studios/Warner Bros. Keoghan stars as Oliver, an oddball Oxford student who becomes obsessed with Felix (Jacob Elordi), his rich classmate. He later stays at Saltburn, the extraordinary manor house belonging to Felix’s family. It’s at Saltburn that the drama really notches up and Keoghan gets to show off the depth of his acting abilities. As Oliver, Keoghan is at once pathetic and pitiful, likable and intelligent, sorrowful and dangerous. It’s a wonderful role for an actor and it culminates in a supremely satisfying ending with a daring, remarkable sequence from Keoghan that proves he is a brave, brave actor (no spoilers here, don’t worry). And critics agree.

Kristy Puchko (Mashable) observed: “Keoghan commits full-bodied to a role that dares you to look away… Keoghan’s penetrating gaze focuses on Felix, and it’s hard to gauge if what Oliver is feeling is love, lust, jealousy, hatred, or a heady mix of all this and more. The role of Oliver is made up of masks, and Keoghan wears each one so convincingly that it’s an enthralling game to guess which is real.”

Maureen Lee Lenker (EW) noted: “Keoghan turns in a towering performance, sinister and irresistible in equal measure. He gives himself over to the plot’s machinations with malicious glee, his sad eyes and severe cheekbones an effective mask for Oliver’s performative, manipulative existence. Keoghan approaches every scene here with a remarkable level of abandon, propelling the film to its divinely gonzo conclusion.”

Tomris Laffly (The Wrap) opined: “He’s a performer of steely blue eyes and a razor-sharp gaze that slices his round visage, an actor of rare intensity who can break your heart and freeze your blood simultaneously, sometimes in the same scene. Those qualities are at the heart of his quick study of an Oxford student character, Oliver Quick.”

Another Oscar nomination may be some way off but Keoghan is right in the mix for a Golden Globes bid. He is currently in sixth spot for Best Drama Actor in our Golden Globes odds chart, just behind our five predicted nominees of Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”), Bradley Cooper (“Maestro”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“Killers of the Flower Moon”), Colman Domingo (“Rustin”), and Andrew Scott (“All of Us Strangers”).

We know that the Globes like Keoghan. They nominated him earlier this year for “The Banshees of Inisherin” on his way to an Oscar bid. Domingo, meanwhile has never been nominated for a Golden Globe. That could count against him, perhaps, and leave the door open for Keoghan to sneak in.

The Golden Globes like nominating young stars in this category. Austin Butler won earlier this year for “Elvis,” Chadwick Boseman won in 2021 for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” while Riz Ahmed was also nominated for “Sound of Metal” in the same year, Adam Driver was nominated in 2020 for “Marriage Story,” and Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”) and John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”) were both nominated in 2019. Rami Malek won that year for “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Speaking of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Globes also like popular, entertaining films as opposed to arthouse fair that might be nominated at critics awards. Butler was nominated for “Elvis,” Will Smith won for “King Richard” in 2022, Christian Bale (“Ford v. Ferrari”) lost to Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) in 2020, and Cooper (“A Star is Born”) lost to Malek for “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 2019. “Saltburn” certainly counts as a popcorn flick in the same leagues as those movies, so he could jump up above Domingo’s biopic “Rustin” and Scott’s arthouse fantasy “All of Us Strangers.”

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