*No twists spoiled here but still…
In the 1950s, Alice and Jack live in the idealized community of Victory, an experimental company town that houses the men who work on a top-secret project. While the husbands toil away, the wives get to enjoy the beauty, luxury and debauchery of their seemingly perfect paradise. However, when cracks in her idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something sinister lurking below the surface, Alice can’t help but question exactly what she’s doing in Victory.
“All they ask of us is to stay here. Where it’s safe.”
Where do you even begin to start writing about the most polarizing movie of the year. Especially when all the polarization comes from things that happened off the screen. I could write a very long piece about all of that drama, but let’s just try and focus on the movie. And this movie on the surface was a big time movie. It is Olivia Wilde’s follow up to BOOKSMART her fantastic debut, and it starred Florence Pugh, one of our biggest actresses, and Harry Styles, like the most famous dude on the planet. What we got though is a very well made movie, with good performances, and a terrible twist that leaves you with mixed feelings leaving the theater.
DWD is a Psychological Thriller that throws you right into a desert community in the 1950’s. We see all the men working for a mysterious Victory project, and all the women staying home and being picture perfect 50’s housewives. Of course, something is amiss and we start to see the story unravel along with our characters lives. However, with all of the mystery built up, we get a flat twist for me and it does not amplify what we saw earlier, it actually makes it worse. So it is hard to rate this movie because a lot of it is well made but it just leaves you sour.
The technical elements were really what saved this movie from being a complete failure. The cinematography was done by Matthew Libatique, who I did not know his name, however I have seen a number of his projects and he is clearly talented. The music was done by John Powell who has been doing studio movies for a long time and is a very steady hand, if not spectacular. Overall though, for her second feature the movie looked great and felt like high level cinema.
Stock Up – Florence Pugh
Her stock just continues to skyrocket with every performance she gives. She clearly is the best part of this movie, playing her part while also giving us the mystery of what is really happening. I am such a fan of hers and will follow her to the end. As Bill Simmons likes to say, I have purchased my Florence Pugh Season Tickets.
Stock Neutral – Olivia Wilde
Adding in the drama her stock might be going down, however like I said the movie does look great. She also does a great job in her role as Bunny in the movie, which is expected because she was an actor first. I still hope she gets another chance to direct, I just hope her next movie has more to say about society than this.
Stock Neutral – Harry Styles
He is a massive pop star, but still a novice actor. I think his performance is actually okay in the role, but I honestly did not think he and Pugh had very much chemistry. For a movie that is supposed to be about how much they love each other, I just did not get that vibe.
*A couple other tidbits
- I just don’t see it with Nick Kroll, every time I see him in something it is cringey for me.
- Chris Pine was great, but for him to be the villain there needs to be much more of an impact on screen.
- Gemma Chan was fine but just given nothing to do.
This movie was trying so hard to say something about the patriarchy and the oppression of women, but I just felt it fell flat. That was mainly due to the poor execution of the twist, which for me really brought the movie down. Which was a bummer, but that is showbiz folks.
*You can find my 2022 Movie Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
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