This review may contain spoilers.
It's unusual to go in to see a film with essentially no idea of what it's about. Unusual, but sometimes quite a good way to approach something. I think I had read something to the effect that someone was invited to someone's country home. But as far as that, I knew nothing about this, going into the cinema today.
Except, maybe, that there was some major surprise twist or reversal.
There are, in fact, no surprises in this.
Or let's say, I found nothing particularly surprising in it.
I enjoyed it, and had a good conversation about it afterwards. But it would have been better — the conversation afterwards in particular — if the the first twenty minutes and the last five were shaved off.
The first twenty minutes because, we know: Oxford is shit if you have no friends and no money; and it's better if you have both. We don't need it explained in elaborate detail.
Or maybe that's not so obvious. I have some insider knowledge there.
But the last five or so minutes. I mean, really? Do you have to explain everything? Spell everything out in minute detail? Confirm that every possible thing that we thought might have happened — but that was, until now, pleasingly ambiguous — had actually happened?
I feel like the ending was focus-grouped to death; a few people didn't understand, so they dropped in some tiny flashbacks. Yes, he was that manipulative. I had suspected that from about forty minutes in, and my suspicions only increased. But I'd rather have had them left as suspicions.
All that said, I enjoyed this a lot. I just feel I could have enjoyed it a lot more.