Don’t Worry Darling

Don’t Worry Darling
Original title:Don’t Worry Darling
Director:Olivia Wilde
Running time:112 minutes
Release date:23 september 2022
Alice and Jack are fortunate to live in the idyllic community of Victory, a small corporate experimental town that houses the men working for the ultra-confidential Victory Project and their families. The 1950s optimism that pervades the company is shared entirely by its CEO, Frank, and permeates every aspect of daily life in this utopian bubble in the middle of the California desert. While the men spend their days at Victory Project HQ, their wives live in luxury and idleness. Life is perfect in this environment where the slightest desire of the inhabitants is satisfied by the company. But when cracks begin to appear, revealing a dark reality beyond the seductive facade, Alice cannot help but wonder...

Mulder's Review

 "This psychological thriller is my declaration of love to films that push the boundaries of our imagination. Imagine a life where you could get everything you ever dreamed of. And not just the material things, like a beautiful house, a fancy car, delicious food, endless parties... but the things that matter most. Like true love with a perfect man, real friends, and a purpose in life that seems to make sense. What would it take to give all that up? What would you be willing to sacrifice to make justice prevail? Would you be willing to overthrow the system that was supposed to serve you? What if you were pushed to the point where you had no choice? That's the world - and the questions - of Don't Worry Darling" - Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde's new film Don't Worry Darling closed with beauty the 48th edition of the Deauville American Film Festival which, despite the absence of many Hollywood stars, allowed us to discover in excellent conditions independent films as well as highly anticipated films like this one. After a first film (a comedy) noticed and praised by the critics Bookmart (2019), Don't worry darling imposes Olivia Wilde not only as an excellent actress but also as a very gifted director who knows how to create an anguishing universe and play with the nerves of the spectators.

Don't worry Darling is one of those puzzle films in which the spectators are invited to follow the different clues left more or less in evidence in order to better grasp the final twist that will change forever the vision of this film by the spectators.  We discover a perfect couple, Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) who live in apparent harmony in a small town in the middle of the desert in what could be considered the 50s. While the men leave at almost the same time to work for the Victory Company, the women stay home to do their housework and shop on the bus. The CEO of Victory, Frank (Chris Pine), is an enigmatic being who seems to keep his ultra-confidential Victory Project in harmony. In this utopian city, however, surprising things happen that make Alice wonder if she is losing her mind or if the city, she lives in is real or just an illusion. (We won't say more to let the spectators discover this film full of excellent surprises)

For those who grew up like us in front of series like The Twilight Zone or were delighted to discover the Black Mirror series, Don't worry darling will have a great time trying to solve the mystery behind the utopian city of Voctory. Katie Silberman's script is perfectly balanced to put in place some pieces of a puzzle and a trap that will close on Alice. Don't Worry Darling is not indeed what it seems to be, a scary thriller set in the 50's and this is what makes it original and allows it to constantly play with the nerves of the audience.

The rising star Florence Pugh Lady Macbeth (2016), Midsommar (2019), Black Widow (2021)) alternates to our delight between independent films and Hollywood blockbusters and is equally at home in dramas and action films. Here she perfectly embodies an American housewife of the 50s who spends her time between cleaning, shopping and meeting her neighbors. Her undeniable sensuality brings to the film all its fragility and the fact that we follow her journey and her awakening in front of events that are beyond her and that will make her understand that appearances are often deceiving. 

Olivia Wilde's direction shows an undeniable skill and is enhanced by the careful photography of Matthew Libatique and the editing of Affonso Gonçalves. The great difficulty of such a thriller is to know how to balance the plot and allow the audience to put together the pieces of a puzzle. While the American press has dismantled the film and has taken pleasure in pointing out important production problems, we prefer to keep in mind that the film as it is. Of course, it is not free of defects but it has the merit to show once again that Florence Pugh is one of the best current actresses and has a whole character. It is an effective film if not innovative. 

Don't Worry Darling
Directed by Olivia Wilde
Produced by Olivia Wilde, Katie Silberman, Miri Yoon, Roy Lee
Written by Katie Silberman
Story by Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke, Katie Silberman
Starring Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll, Chris Pine
Music by John Powell
Cinematography : Matthew Libatique
Edited by Affonso Gonçalves
Production companies : New Line Cinema, Vertigo Entertainment
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date : September 5, 2022 (Venice), September 21, 2022 (France), September 23, 2022 (United States)
Running time : 112 minutes

Seen on September 10, 2022 at the Deauville International Center

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