Don’t Worry Darling (15)
Don’t Worry Darling (15)
Director: Olivia Wilde
Runtime: 2h 3m
Cast: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne and Chris Pine
Synopsis: Alice and Jack are lucky to be living in the idealized community of Victory, the experimental company town housing the men who work for the top-secret Victory Project and their families. The 1950’s societal optimism espoused by their CEO, Frank (Pine)—equal parts corporate visionary and motivational life coach—anchors every aspect of daily life in the tight-knit desert utopia.
Don’t Worry Darling directed by Olivia Wilde [Booksmart (2019)] and starring Florence Pugh [Midsommar (2019), Little Women (2019), her MCU debut Black Widow (2021), Fighting with My Family (2019), The Falling (2014), Lady Macbeth (2016)], Harry Styles [Dunkirk (2017)] is an audacious, twisted and visually stunning psychological thriller.
This powerhouse feature has intoxicating performances from Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, surrounded by an impressive and pitch-perfect ensemble of: Olivia Wilde [Babylon post-production (2022), Don’t Worry Darling (2022), DC League of Super-Pets (2022)], Gemma Chan [Crazy Rich Asians (2018)], KiKi Layne [If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), Native Son (2019) The Old Guard (2020)] and Chris Pine [All the Old Knives (2022), Wonder Woman (2017), American Dad TV (2019-2021)].
The film also stars Nick Kroll [How It Ends (2021)], Sydney Chandler [Pistol (2022)], Kate Berlant [Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (2019)], Asif Ali [WandaVision (2021)], Douglas Smith [Big Little Lies (2019)], Timothy Simons [Veep (2012-2019)] and Ari’el Stachel [(upcoming Respect he Jux (2022)].
Alice (Pugh) and Jack (Styles) are lucky to be living in the idealized community of Victory, the experimental company town housing the men who work for the top-secret Victory Project and their families. There is a “Stepford Wives” atmosphere in this traditional, sunny, desert utopia with a bright colour palate and an apparent 1950’s optimism.
CEO, Frank (Pine) behaves like a combined corporate visionary and motivational life coach controlling every aspect of daily life in the tight-knit community.
While the husbands spend every day inside the Victory Project Headquarters, working on the “development of progressive materials,” their perfect wives—including Frank’s elegant partner, Shelley (Chan) spend their time enjoying the beauty, luxury and debauchery of their community. Life is perfect, with every resident’s needs met by the company. All they ask in return is discretion and unquestioning commitment to the Victory cause.
Florence Pugh is compelling as effervescent, perfectly-coiffed housewife Alice Chambers, who dotes on her charming husband Jack (Harry Styles). The couple is happily in love and obsessed with each other.
But when cracks in their idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive pseudo-1950s façade.
After Margaret, one of Alice’s housewife friends played by KiKi Layne, goes off the rails, Alice begins to suspect that all is not as it appears in Victory. Soon Alice can’t help
questioning exactly what they’re doing in Victory, and why. Just how much is Alice willing to lose to expose what’s really going on in this paradise?
Wilde directs from a screenplay penned by her “Booksmart” writer Katie Silberman, based on a story by Carey Van Dyke & Shane Van Dyke (“Chernobyl Diaries”) and Silberman.
Don’t Worry Darling rings with contemporary ideas. a cautionary, effective tale with ideas to ponder for hours after seeing it like Pleasantville (d.Gary Ross 1998) or Vivarium (d. Lorcan Finnegan (2019).
It’s a beautifully-shot film with immaculate sets, costume design and hair and makeup with every visual detail carefully considered and realised.
Wilde is joined behind the camera by two-time Oscar-nominated director of photography Matthew Libatique (“A Star Is Born,” “Black Swan”), production designer Katie Byron (“Booksmart”), editor Affonso Gonçalves (“The Lost Daughter”), Oscar-nominated composer John Powell (“Jason Bourne”), music supervisor Randall Poster (“No Time to Die”) and costume designer Arianne Phillips (“Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood”).
Don’t Worry Darling is an always intriguing film which confirms Olivia Wilde’s directing ability and Florence Pugh as a major talent and an ambitious interesting twist and social comment.
Images courtesy of Warner Bros