Don’t Worry Darling Earns 5-Minute Applause At Venice Film Festival, But The Early Reviews Are More Mixed
While the summer movie season is officially over, there’s still plenty of cinematic content to look forward to this year. That includes the Olivia Wilde-directed Don’t Worry Darling, a 1950s-set psychological thriller, arriving later this month. Days after Cate Blanchett’s Tár impressed at the Venice Film Festival, Don’t Worry Darling has now screened at the event, and while it earned a five-minute standing ovation, the reviews frame this movie in a more mixed light.
The Venice Film Festival served as Don’t Worry Darling’s world premiere, and as reported by Deadline, the audience cheered for five minutes after it concluded, with Olivia Wilde being joined by stars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine and Gemma Chan. So clearly many people in the crowd liked what they saw from Wilde’s Booksmart follow-up, and Deadline’s own review describes this “sort of a cross between Get Out, The Stepford Wives and Rosemary’s Baby” as being “fun, if familiar.”
Variety described Don’t Worry Darling, which dropped its first trailer back in May, as being a perfectly satisfiable, if not exceptional movie that delivers a “big twist,” and specifically commended Florence Pugh and Harry Styles for their performances.
On the more negative end of the critical spectrum, we have THR, which called Don’t Worry Darling the “umpteenth Stepford Wives knockoff” that is technically well made and has some impressive performances, but falls short of landing its “inevitable Big Reveal.”
Finally, USA Today (opens in new tab) rated Don’t Worry Darling 2.5 out of 5 stars, noting that Olivia Wilde’s second collaboration with writer Katie Silberman doesn’t have the same “spark” as Booksmart and even saying that there’s a lack of chemistry between Florence Pugh and Harry Styles in the movie. That said, the publication did concede, among a few other highlights, that Pugh keeps Don’t Worry Darling “watchable.”
Don’t Worry Darling’s Venice debut follows several days after it was announced that Florence Pugh won’t be doing anymore press for the movie. Officially, this is attributed to her being in the middle of shooting Dune: Part Two, where she’s playing Princess Irulan, but it’s also been rumored that Pugh doesn’t have a good relationship with Olivia Wilde. Regardless, the early critical reception indicates that Don’t Worry Darling won’t please all crowds, but there will be more reviews in the weeks ahead (including CinemaBlend’s) to provide other viewpoints and potentially shift the movie to either being more positively or negatively received overall.
Should you want to judge Don’t Worry Darling for yourself, it opens in theaters on September 23. Look through our 2022 release schedule to see what other movies are slated for the remainder of the year.