One of the year’s most highly anticipated movies is starting to look like a bit of a flop. OK, that might be an egregious exaggeration and totally unfair as no one has seen this movie. But one new, extremely embarrassing detail about the production process for the upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling has me worried. No matter how star-studded, how scandalous, how intriguing the plot may be, Olivia Wilde’s “mood boards” for the film look utterly horrendous.
Olivia Wilde shares her Director mood board for Florence Pugh & Harry Styles’ characters in ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ pic.twitter.com/Ig5zGaSKKA
— Cinema Solace (@solacecinema) August 7, 2022
Let me preface this by saying that I am incredibly excited for Don’t Worry Darling. I want to like the movie. I am starstruck by Harry Styles and Florence Pugh, Chris Pine is a gift sent straight from Heavens, and I loved Booksmart. But something about the promotional materials for Don’t Worry Darling, paired with its September release date (I had hoped we’d get a buzzy December Oscar-season release), have me gritting my teeth.
A couple of days ago, Wilde shared two moodboards—one for Jack (Styles) and one for Alice (Pugh)—stating that the entire collection was “80 billion” pages long. The editing is terrible on these collages: What would happen if an eighth grader got ahold of WeHeartIt, PicMonkey, and Letterboxd at the same time? You’d get the Don’t Worry Darling mood boards.
Let’s go mood board by mood board, starting with Alice. Both collages have giant photos of the actors in the center to remind you who they are, of course, but Alice’s also has a second photo of Florence Pugh in the corner, an image that’s actually a part of Wilde’s vision for her character. Yes, Florence Pugh will inspire Florence Pugh’s performance in Don’t Worry Darling.
Then, we’ve got some stills of Gena Rowlands performing in John Cassavetes’ A Woman Under the Influence, which is probably in reference to Alice’s claustrophobic stay-at-home breakdown in the trailers. Brigitte Bardot has already been named a big inspiration for Pugh, especially her hair, and litters the rest of the visual. “Ah yes, Brigitte Bardot in a bathtub,” one Twitter user sarcastically shared, “very inspiring for this film.”
Ah yes, Brigitte Bardot in a bathtub very inspiring for this film https://t.co/GK5tXXcKql
— colette; (@themarilyngirl) August 7, 2022
More Twitter users clapped back, arguing that Florence Pugh is in a bathtub in the trailer; therefore, yes, Brigitte Bardot in a bathtub is inspiring for this film. But Alice is having a panic attack, nearly drowning in the tub. Here, Bardot smiles away, gleefully reclining in the tub. A bit of a disconnect, but I’ll give Wilde this one.
Moving onto Styles’ (who, don’t forget, is still romantically intertwined with Wilde), his collage only has three photos from the reported “billions.” Here, Wilde has gone so far as to tag her man as Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant, two of the entertainment industry’s most notable icons. While I hope his performance actually lives up to this vision board, I fear Wilde has set Styles up to look foolish.
The aesthetic for this movie already feels all over the place—Suspiria, Florence Pugh’s Instagram cooking videos, the entire 1950s as a concept—and these mood boards only escalate the headache. Sometimes, what happens in the drawing room needs to stay in the drawing room.
Though the Harry Styles stans are a mighty group, they’re no match for the rest of film Twitter, which has made a playful, fun meme out of these mood boards. The funniest, by far, is a user who compared the mood boards to Wattpad fanfic covers. This is a perfect tie in to Styles, who just so happened to be the biggest Wattpad fanfic star back in the self-publishing reading platform’s heyday.
— ellie 🏠 (@lovesouprry) August 7, 2022
Olivia Wilde shares her mood board that she used for Florence Pugh and Harry Styles’ characters in ‘DON’T WORRY DARLING’. pic.twitter.com/2szFPECjTl
— Business Genious, MBA (@slow_learner0) August 7, 2022
Olivia Wilde shares her mood board that she used for Florence Pugh and Harry Styles’ characters in ‘DON’T WORRY DARLING’ (real) pic.twitter.com/EsolNg2ZvY
— b (@chicamahler) August 8, 2022
The mood boards haven’t harshed my desire to get out to see Don’t Worry Darling opening weekend. They have, however, given me slight pause about my unwavering critical support for the movie. Especially since news about the rift between Pugh and Wilde has been popping up here and there—apparently, after the director began her infamous fling with Styles, Pugh grew agitated by her unprofessional directing style. (These are your typical anonymous Hollywood “reports.” So take them with a grain of salt.)
If anything, these mood boards have perhaps made me more excited to see the movie. Those mood boards tell us one thing about the film: at least it won’t be boring. Don’t Worry Darling will give plenty to laugh about, gossip about, and completely lose our minds over—as any fun movie should.