Don’t know what to say really. This is one of those films that I am rather confused about. Did I like it? Was it a good film? Should people go see it? There really is no simple answer when it comes to Olivia Wilde’s sophomore feature film. It truly is a coin with two sides. Equal parts bad and good, dark and light. Let’s unpack it all here…

First, there is the story. It is deliberately opaque. Hard to read or figure out. A cool concept but I am not sure they went far enough. Meaning that it is not fully fleshed out. Plenty was left on the stove bubbling though not totally cooked. It is a shame, really. Potential is there but not fulfilled. Spoonfed, no. Have some things elaborated on or explained, yes. There is a trail of breadcrumbs….that leads nowhere and that is quite frustrating.

Next, there is the acting. Florence Pugh shows that she can carry a film on her own as that is what happens here. She is really, really good. So good that she covers many of the flaws and warts here. It reminded me of her performance in Midsommar. Filled with a contained energy and some mental instability. Without her, I am not sure there would have been a film worth two hours of anyone’s time. She turns in a performance that turns on a dime. One minute she is the perfect Stepford-like wife and the next is unhinged and probably crazy. Or is she?

As an aside, Harry Styles does a little better here than in My Policeman. More sure of himself or comfortable in the role. Though it rarely asks more of him than to be nice to look at and occasionally dance around. So basically, be himself.

As for the director, well that is also an up-and-down voyage. Some good and some bad. Visually it is rather interesting and stunning. Olivia Wilde is definitely a director who has plenty to say. She is someone who I want to see more from. This film is really different than her first one, Booksmart. This is not a film about a couple of precocious teens. Wilde shows that she is not afraid of making different styles of films. Not afraid to take risks. I am sure this was not an easy film to make (and I am not buying into the rumours that have been swirling around) nor one that is easily digestible. She could have tried to grab the golden ring after the success of her first film and make a big commercial film. This is not that, despite the fact that it features big stars like Pugh, Styles, Gemma Chan, Nick Kroll, and Chris Pine.

Many of the things surrounding the big three (screenplay, direction and acting) are solid. Especially the cinematography by Matthew Libatique (Black Swan, A Star is Born) which is often stunning. The music is smooth and cool feeding right into the whole atmosphere of the film.

In the end, I am not exactly sure what is missing. Kind of like like the story itself. You are left scratching your head wondering if you got all it was offering.

Special Features:

-Digital Copy

  • The Making of Don’t Worry Darling
  • Alice’s Nightmare Deleted Scene

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