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Don’t Worry Darling BLASTED by critics: Olivia Wilde ‘superciliously pinches ideas from other films’

 The film has been the center of controversy including a rumored rift between director Olivia Wilde and leading actress Florence Pugh, a shake-up in the lead actor role involving Shia LaBeouf, and even Wilde famously being served custody papers while onstage promoting the film in front of an audience.

And though the saying goes ‘if it matters it produces controversy,’ it doesn’t seem to have worked in this instance.

The early reviews for Don’t Worry Darling are in after the premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Monday and the majority of them have been negative.

Many of the critics blasted filmmaker Wilde, 38, for lack of originality and a rather predictable plot as many felt like her 28-year-old boyfriend was out of his depth in regards to his performance with some pointing out his accent.

Ouch: The early reviews for Don’t Worry Darling starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles are in after the premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Monday and the majority of them have been negative

However it is not all bad as Florence, 26, was praised for her ‘superb’ performance.

Currently Don’t Worry Darling has a very unimpressive ‘metascore’ of 48 based on 15 reviews on review aggregate site MetaCritic. 

Perhaps the most scathing review came from Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian who wrote:  ‘Directed by Olivia Wilde, it superciliously pinches ideas from other films without quite understanding how and why they worked in the first place. 

‘It spoils its own ending simply by unveiling it, and in so doing shows that serious script work needed to be done on filling in the plot-holes and problems in a fantastically silly twist-reveal.’

Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times had similar sentiments writing: ‘Directed by Olivia Wilde and written by Katie Silberman (from a story credited to Silberman, Carey Van Dyke and Shane Van Dyke), it’s a handsomely assembled, increasingly transparent thriller that stomps when it should creep and drags when it should accelerate. 

Perhaps the most scathing review came from Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian who wrote: 'Directed by Olivia Wilde, it superciliously pinches ideas from other films without quite understanding how and why they worked in the first place,' Olivia is seen at the premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Monday

Perhaps the most scathing review came from Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian who wrote: 'Directed by Olivia Wilde, it superciliously pinches ideas from other films without quite understanding how and why they worked in the first place,' Olivia is seen at the premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Monday

Perhaps the most scathing review came from Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian who wrote: ‘Directed by Olivia Wilde, it superciliously pinches ideas from other films without quite understanding how and why they worked in the first place,’ Olivia is seen at the premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Monday

‘Mainly it reminds you of the many earlier, better pictures it consciously resembles; I’m loath to name too many of them and risk spoiling the story’s meager surprises. Suffice to say that Wilde and Silberman have conceived what often plays like a Palm Springs-shot derivation of The Stepford Wives, or perhaps an old Douglas Sirk melodrama by way of The Truman Show.’

The Daily Beast senior entertainment editor Marlow Stern criticized Harry for his inability to match his co-star Florence’s intensity. 

They wrote: ‘The musician is like a deer in headlights throughout much of the proceedings, and a scene of him crying in the car following a particularly fiery row with Pugh is littered with more crocodile tears than Charlie Sheen being hauled out of his office by the cops at the end of Wall Street (not to mention, his bastardized British accent is a distraction).’ 

USA Today’s Brian Truitt also hit out at Harry’s accent and did not believe the two leads in the film were simpatico as they wrote: ‘Styles has already taken (warranted) grief for an accent that’s all over the place, and his Jack is also a bit of a nonfactor for much of the runtime, though he gets more to do after the Big Reveal. (If you’re paying attention, it’s not that hard to figure out what exactly is happening.) 

The Daily Beast senior entertainment editor Marlow Stern criticized Harry for his inability to match his co-star Florence's intensity: 'The musician is like a deer in headlights throughout much of the proceedings, and a scene of him crying in the car following a particularly fiery row with Pugh is littered with more crocodile tears than Charlie Sheen being hauled out of his office by the cops at the end of Wall Street (not to mention, his bastardized British accent is a distraction)'

The Daily Beast senior entertainment editor Marlow Stern criticized Harry for his inability to match his co-star Florence's intensity: 'The musician is like a deer in headlights throughout much of the proceedings, and a scene of him crying in the car following a particularly fiery row with Pugh is littered with more crocodile tears than Charlie Sheen being hauled out of his office by the cops at the end of Wall Street (not to mention, his bastardized British accent is a distraction)'

The Daily Beast senior entertainment editor Marlow Stern criticized Harry for his inability to match his co-star Florence’s intensity: ‘The musician is like a deer in headlights throughout much of the proceedings, and a scene of him crying in the car following a particularly fiery row with Pugh is littered with more crocodile tears than Charlie Sheen being hauled out of his office by the cops at the end of Wall Street (not to mention, his bastardized British accent is a distraction)’

‘The lack of chemistry between Pugh and Styles is another disconnect – her dynamic with Pine, albeit antagonistic, is far more effective and not explored nearly enough.’ 

Helen O’Hara of Empire gave a three-out-of-five stars rating for the film but did praise Florence’s performance despite overall issues with the film as they wrote: ‘Pugh is superb, while Wilde confidently steps up to a bigger subject and budget to deliver a slick, beautiful film. It doesn’t quite stick the landing, but its flight to that point is fascinating.’ 

There were some positive reviews as The Telegraph chief film critic Robbie Collin gave the feature a very positive score of four-out-of-five stars.

Collin explained: ‘Even so, things keep barrelling along thanks to both Pugh and the plot’s punchy critique of certain recent trends in the internet’s more testosterone-raddled dark corners. With a smudgy red-lipsticked grin, Don’t Worry Darling drags them out into the blazing desert light.’

Deadline’s Pete Hammond suggested to overlook the gossip and controversy surrounding the film as it is actually a fun watch despite what social media has to say.

Helen O'Hara of Empire gave a three-out-of-five stars rating for the film but did praise Florence's performance despite overall issues with the film as they wrote: 'Pugh is superb, while Wilde confidently steps up to a bigger subject and budget to deliver a slick, beautiful film. It doesn’t quite stick the landing, but its flight to that point is fascinating'

Helen O'Hara of Empire gave a three-out-of-five stars rating for the film but did praise Florence's performance despite overall issues with the film as they wrote: 'Pugh is superb, while Wilde confidently steps up to a bigger subject and budget to deliver a slick, beautiful film. It doesn’t quite stick the landing, but its flight to that point is fascinating'

Helen O’Hara of Empire gave a three-out-of-five stars rating for the film but did praise Florence’s performance despite overall issues with the film as they wrote: ‘Pugh is superb, while Wilde confidently steps up to a bigger subject and budget to deliver a slick, beautiful film. It doesn’t quite stick the landing, but its flight to that point is fascinating’

They wrote: ‘That said, on its own terms Don’t Worry Darling is actually quite entertaining if you’re in the mood, even if Wilde’s candy-coated psychological thriller doesn’t rewrite the rules of the genre in any significant way. It is sort of a cross between Get Out, The Stepford Wives and Rosemary’s Baby with a ’50s swinging Rat Pack vibe thrown in for good measure. 

‘And maybe even by luck of timing, the shutdown of Roe v Wade by the Supreme Court provides gravitas for an underlying message here of the terror imposed by men controlling women’s bodies in this otherwise fun, if familiar, film.’

The film has been at the center of plenty of controversy off-screen as there have been reports of a rumored feud between Florence and director Olivia.

A report from Page Six in late July claimed that Pugh was upset that Wilde was hooking up with Styles during the production of Don’t Worry Darling — while still married to Jason Sudeikis — before they split in November. 

‘I can tell you for a fact that Flo seeing Olivia and Harry all over each other on set did not go down well as Olivia was still with Jason when she first hooked up with Harry,’ the source said.

Others have noticed that Pugh has sparsely posted about the film on her social media accounts, which has also fueled rumors of friction on the set. 

Wilde has also been commenting about the film, revealing she was ‘forced’ to cut several sex scenes, adding, ‘We still live in a really puritanical society.’ 

There have been conflicting reports as to the timeline of Olivia’s split from her ex husband Jason, with whom she shares two children, and when she started her new relationship with Harry.

Rumours of Harry and Olivia’s romance were confirmed when they were seen holding hands at his agent’s wedding in Montecito, California, on January 3 2021, raising eyebrows over just how quickly she had moved on.

Hmm The film has been at the center of plenty of controversy off-screen as there have been reports of a rumored feud between Florence and director Olivia as a report from Page Six in late July claimed that Pugh was upset that Wilde was hooking up with Styles during the production of Don't Worry Darling — while still married to Jason Sudeikis — before they split in November

Hmm The film has been at the center of plenty of controversy off-screen as there have been reports of a rumored feud between Florence and director Olivia as a report from Page Six in late July claimed that Pugh was upset that Wilde was hooking up with Styles during the production of Don't Worry Darling — while still married to Jason Sudeikis — before they split in November

Hmm The film has been at the center of plenty of controversy off-screen as there have been reports of a rumored feud between Florence and director Olivia as a report from Page Six in late July claimed that Pugh was upset that Wilde was hooking up with Styles during the production of Don’t Worry Darling — while still married to Jason Sudeikis — before they split in November

Recently Olivia found herself in a public war of words with Shia LaBeouf, who was initially tapped to play the male lead in Don’t Worry Darling.

Last month Wilde gave an interview to Variety where she said LaBeouf’s process was ‘not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions’ after the role was ultimately recast with her now-boyfriend.

In response, LaBeouf supplied alleged evidence to refute Wilde’s claims, including an email he sent to the director and a video that she allegedly sent to him, proving he walked away from the film rather than being fired.

LaBeouf claims he ‘quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time’ on August 17th in 2020, and forwarded Variety two emails that he claims he recently sent to Wilde. 

'I can tell you for a fact that Flo seeing Olivia and Harry all over each other on set did not go down well as Olivia was still with Jason when she first hooked up with Harry,' the source said as the two are pictured flanking Sydney Chandler at the premiere

'I can tell you for a fact that Flo seeing Olivia and Harry all over each other on set did not go down well as Olivia was still with Jason when she first hooked up with Harry,' the source said as the two are pictured flanking Sydney Chandler at the premiere

‘I can tell you for a fact that Flo seeing Olivia and Harry all over each other on set did not go down well as Olivia was still with Jason when she first hooked up with Harry,’ the source said as the two are pictured flanking Sydney Chandler at the premiere

Some studio sources have claimed to the publication that LaBeouf had been fired, while another said his departure was down to a ‘collective recognition that LaBeouf’s style of acting wasn’t a good fit for Wilde’s approach as a director.’ 

However LaBeouf has sent Variety purported screenshots of his conversations with Wilde, which claim they met in person to discuss his exit from the project. 

Wilde allegedly texted the actor: ‘Thanks for letting me in on your thought process. I know that isn’t fun. Doesn’t feel good to say no to someone, and I respect your honesty.

‘I’m honored you were willing to go there with me, for me to tell a story with you. I’m gutted because it could have been something special. I want to make clear how much it means to me that you trust me. That’s a gift I’ll take with me.’

LaBeouf then claims to the trade outlet that he ‘officially’ quit the film the following day after their conversation in August 2020.

Recently Olivia found herself in a public war of words with Shia LaBeouf, who was initially tapped to play the male lead in Don't Worry Darling as last month Wilde gave an interview to Variety where she said LaBeouf's process was 'not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions' after the role was ultimately recast with her now-boyfriend

Recently Olivia found herself in a public war of words with Shia LaBeouf, who was initially tapped to play the male lead in Don't Worry Darling as last month Wilde gave an interview to Variety where she said LaBeouf's process was 'not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions' after the role was ultimately recast with her now-boyfriend

Recently Olivia found herself in a public war of words with Shia LaBeouf, who was initially tapped to play the male lead in Don’t Worry Darling as last month Wilde gave an interview to Variety where she said LaBeouf’s process was ‘not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions’ after the role was ultimately recast with her now-boyfriend 

As well as texts, LaBeouf provided Variety with a video that Wilde allegedly sent him on August 19th 2020, two days after he is said to have quit. 

In the video Wilde is heard saying she is ‘not ready to give up on this yet,’ as she appears to beg the actor to reconsider. Wilde is then said to allude to tension between LaBeouf and lead star Florence Pugh, who plays Alice, the wife of Jack.

‘I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this yet, and I too am heartbroken and I want to figure this out,’ Wilde allegedly says in the video.

Quite the crew: Nick Kroll, Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde, Sydney Chandler, Harry Styles and Gemma Chan are seen left to right at the premiere

Quite the crew: Nick Kroll, Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde, Sydney Chandler, Harry Styles and Gemma Chan are seen left to right at the premiere

Quite the crew: Nick Kroll, Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde, Sydney Chandler, Harry Styles and Gemma Chan are seen left to right at the premiere 

‘You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo [Florence Pugh], and I want to know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us.’

Wilde goes on: ‘If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace – and I respect your point of view, I respect hers – but if you guys can do it, what do you think? Is there hope? Will you let me know?’

Don’t Worry Darling is set in the 1950s, following a housewife (Pugh) whose husband (Styles) moves them into a utopian community for his new company.

She starts worrying that her husband and his company are hiding terrible secrets as her life is turned upside down.

The cast also includes Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, Nick Kroll, Douglas Smith, KiKi Layne, Timothy Simons and Dita Von Teese. 

Don’t Worry Darling is set for worldwide release on September 23. 

Highly-anticipated: Don't Worry Darling is set for worldwide release on September 23

Highly-anticipated: Don't Worry Darling is set for worldwide release on September 23

Highly-anticipated: Don’t Worry Darling is set for worldwide release on September 23

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