After months of online buzz speculating about the drama surrounding the behind-the-scenes of “Don’t Worry Darling,” Olivia Wilde’s second film has finally premiered at the 79th Venice International Film Festival and the first reviews are here, with a lot to say about Florence Pugh and Harry Styles performances. 

The film, which was the object of a 18-studio bid war, is one of the most anticipated of the year for various reasons, not all of them positive. One of them, besides Florence Pugh’s undeniable talent, is that this is Styles’ first major role after his small part in Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk.” Another one, is that Wilde’s first film “Booksmart” (2019) was a critical hit, meaning that all the eyes are on her. 

However, the rumors of tension between Pugh and Wilde have been circulating online for months, especially as the director and Styles are in a relationship. Shia Labeouf, who was supposed to be Pugh’s co-star in the first place, has also added gasoline to the fire, after he responded to Wilde’s comments saying she fired him for his “combative” process. So, what everyone is wondering… Was all the drama worth it? Check out the first reviews. 

First reviews of “Don’t Worry Darling” are mixed 

According to the first reviews, “Don’t Worry Darling” is visually beautiful, very stylish, but it lacks soul or substance. All the reviews praise Pugh’s performance and Wilde’s direction, while Styles has received mixed reviews for his role. However, the main criticism is for the script, written by Katie Silberman. 

To SlashFilm, the film “can't overcome its rather simplistic story and a disappointing reveal that ultimately doesn't match up to its build-up.” Meanwhile, to The Daily Beast, ita “entire narrative collapses, exposing Katie Silberman’s script as one with precious little to say about the ever-growing tension between modern-day feminism and incel culture.” 

ScreenDaily writes that “much like the elaborate charade at the heart of Victory, Wilde’s film ends up not being all that it seems — in both cases, the alluring surface belies the hollowness underneath.” For Variety, the plot’s big twist “wants to spin your head but may leave you scratching it.” 



Pugh’s performance is praised, Styles’ is mixed 

Regarding the performances, all the praise is for Pugh, who “captures Alice’s torment and rebellion with gusto” (Daily Beast) and “holds down the center of the movie with a spark of eagerness that melts into a wary detective’s gaze” (Variety).

Meanwhile, Styles, according to critics, is overpowered by Pugh. However, to some, Variety or The Telegraph, he has a “saturnine suaveness,” and he is “far from embarrassing (...)  in the end, his half-suave, half-gawky, never entirely convincing performance chimes with the film’s showpiece twist in some fun if presumably unintended ways.”