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Olivia Wilde
Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine
Writing Credits:
Katie Silberman

A housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community begins to worry that his glamorous company could be hiding disturbing secrets.

Box Office:
$35 million.
Opening Weekend:
$19,353,213 on 4113 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 123 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 11/29/2022

• “The Making of Don’t Worry Darling” Featurette
• Deleted Scene


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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Don't Worry Darling [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 27, 2022)

Known as an actor, Olivia Wilde made her directorial debut with 2019’s well-regarded Booksmart. For the follow-up, Wilde returns with 2022’s star-studded drama Don’t Worry Darling.

Along with husband Jack (Harry Styles), Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) appears to live the idyllic life of the 1950s housewife. In the tight-knit “experimental community” of Victory, Alice keeps a nice house and socializes with her similarly content neighbors.

Cracks appear in this perfect setting, though, and Alice slowly starts to suspect a darker side to paradise. As the truth behind Victory becomes more and more apparent, Alice struggles for her own survival.

At the very least, Wilde deserves credit for her willingness to diverge from the stylistic path she established with Booksmart. That one delivered a teen-centered “coming of age” mix of comedy and drama, whereas Darling takes on a more surreal narrative.

Darling becomes a difficult movie to discuss in detail due to all its twists and turns. A review without spoilers seems nearly impossible.

That said, an even moderately astute viewer will quickly sense that one cannot take events on face value right off the bat. For instance, the movie opens with a cocktail party in which guests represent a variety of ethnicities.

The issue? The possibility an upscale suburban community in the 1950s would allow that kind of “racial mingling” seems far-fetched, so right off the bat, the audience should know something is amiss.

Other hints arise as well, such as when we go to a pool party. There one of the female guests struts around topless – again, something that feels awfully unlikely for the buttoned-up 1950s. Never mind that the woman sports bikini bottoms that simply didn’t exist in the 1950s.

Of course, one could try to swallow these stretches of credulity due to the aforementioned “experimental” nature of Victory. Perhaps that location boasts a more progressive attitude than the rest of the United States.

However, this becomes tough to swallow because Darling portrays such a relentlessly “1950s” view of society. In Victory, the men all work nine to five while the women clean house, cook, and pump out babies.

Given how restrictive the movie’s take on gender politics appears, it then makes no sense Victory would seem so advanced in terms of racial or sexual elements. We quickly sense that we encounter a world where we can’t take what we see on face value.

This would work really well if Wilde managed to portray the growing sense of unreality with any subtlety or depth. Instead, Wilde makes the creeping oddness so obvious that it leaves no room for real intrigue.

At its heart, Darling feels like a collection of influences. We get obvious signs of Stepford Wives and The Village plus a little Get Out for good measure.

Hopefully those references won’t act as too “spoilery” on their own, but one shouldn’t take them literally. They simply imply the kind of story and events one should expect in Darling but without specific plot or character representations.

In any event, Darling offers an odd mix of a tale with many potential spoilers… and none. On one hand, it provides a slew of twists that could catch the viewer by surprise.

On the other hand, Darling plays out the curveballs with so little subtlety that none of them feel especially difficult to anticipate. Even if we can’t predict specific events, we know to expect the “unexpected”… which then makes these scenes perversely predictable.

Darling does manage some intrigue during its first act, mainly because we want to find out what those “surprises” will become. Even if the movie seems hamfisted, the basic nature of the mystery manages to pique curiosity.

For a while, but then Darling collapses under the weight of its pretenses. The film gets sillier and sillier as it goes, so when it needs to build real drama and suspense, the viewer seems more likely to have checked out and given up on the tale.

Wilde does amass a good cast, as in addition to Pugh, Styles and herself, Darling features Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, Nick Kroll, Timothy Simons and others. Unfortunately, that roster can’t push the movie across the finish line.

Though damned if Pugh doesn’t try. She manages to imbue her thin character with real passion and personality, so she becomes the movie’s biggest strength.

However, Pugh ends up as arguably the film’s only strength. Darling shows moments of intrigue but too much of it feels absurd and half-baked for the movie to succeed.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

Don’t Worry Darling appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect a quality presentation.

Sharpness worked fine. Even with some intentionally gauzy shots at times, the movie felt accurate and distinctive.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws failed to appear.

To the surprise of no one, Darling opted for an emphasis on orange and teal – awfully orange sometimes, as this tint went a little crazy. Still, the disc replicated the tones as intended.

Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows offered appealing clarity. Across the board, the image satisfied.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, I also felt pleased with the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Though Darling emphasized its vibe as a character drama, the mix came with a fairly active soundscape.

Music used the soundfield in an involving manner, and effects added engagement. While much of this went with ambience, occasional “action” sequences gave the track real oomph.

Audio quality pleased, with speech that came across as natural and concise. Music appeared full and rich, even with restrictions that came with the plethora of 1950s recordings on display.

Effects boasted solid accuracy and depth, with deep lows as necessary. The soundtrack added a lot to the experience.

Minor extras appear here, and The Making of Don’t Worry Darling goes for 17 minutes, 12 seconds. It offers info from actor/director Olivia Wilde, screenwriter Katie Silberman, production designer Katie Byron, costume designer Arianne Phillips, director of photography Matthew Libatique, and actors Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Nick Kroll, Gemma Chan, Douglas Smith, Sydney Chandler, Kate Berlant, and Kiki Layne.

“Making” looks at story/characters and themes, cast and performances, production design and costumes, photography and connected topics. The program comes with too much happy talk, but it offers enough insights to merit a look.

A Deleted Scene called “Alice’s Nightmare” runs a whopping 54 seconds. It gives us an alternate take on a similar sequence in the final cut and seems wholly unmemorable.

The second directorial effort from Olivia Wilde, Don’t Worry Darling turns into a disappointing mess. The movie lacks purpose and wanders down so many goofy paths that the viewer likely will lose interest well before the end credits roll. The Blu-ray comes with excellent visuals and engaging audio but it lacks substantial supplements. Despite a strong pedigree, Darling largely fizzles.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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