Don’t worry darling: Harry Styles’ performance was branded by critics as “leaden” and “robot-like”.

The ratings are in for don’t worry darling — and Harry Styles might want to look the other way.

Critical response to Olivia Wilde’s upcoming sci-fi thriller, which co-stars Styles alongside Florence Pugh, has ranged from mediocre to poor, while the social media frenzy that surrounded it was captivating.

However, reporters have praised Pugh for her role as Alice, a “1950s housewife who lives with her husband [Styles] in a utopian experimental community”.

While Pugh’s performance was praised, Styles’ performance as Jack was labeled everything from “robotic” to “wooden.”

“Styles lacks charisma,” writes Geoffrey Macnab for The Independent in its three-star rating.

“Jack is a one-dimensional character and the One Direction star gives him no hidden depth. Pugh is easily the film’s liveliest and most compelling character. She plays Alice in such a fiery way that most of the other characters seem robotic in comparison.”

Macnab’s opinion is echoed by several other reviewers, most notably Marlow Stern The daily beastwho writes: “Styles struggle to fit together [Pugh’s] Go-for-broke intensity. The musician is like a deer in the headlights for much of the proceedings, and one scene in which he cries in the car after a particularly fiery argument with Pugh is strewn with more crocodile tears than Charlie Sheen, who is being dragged from his office by the police end of Wall Street.”

Similarly, Steph Green writes for the BBC that Styles “doesn’t quite feel up to the material here, with leaden lines and a lack of light and shadow that make his two-handed scenes fall flat against Pugh”.

Harry Styles at the premiere of ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ at the Venice Film Festival


Kevin Maher for The times calls the singer “a huge problem for the film”.

“It’s like wood. Especially towards Pugh,” Maher continues, “who is an inherently gifted and charismatic screen giant.”

“One could imagine that she wanted revenge on Wilde because she wipes the floor every time Styles meets her. It’s always like watching Brando perform the ‘contender’ scene with former One Direction star Niall Horan.”

Rumors of a feud between Pugh and Wilde have been brewing for some time, with some fans claiming that Pugh neglected to promote the film on their active social media accounts.

Harry Styles and Florence Pugh in “Don’t Worry Darling”

(Warner Bros)

Shia LaBeouf, who was originally cast as Jack before Styles landed the role, recently shared a video of Wilde asking him to return to the film. Wilde seems to point to some friction with Pugh, saying in the clip, “I think that might be a little wake-up call for Miss Flo.”

Wilde previously claimed she fired LaBeouf from the production to make sure Pugh felt “safe,” which LaBeouf denied.

On Monday (September 5), Pugh was absent from a press conference for the film at the Venice Film Festival, citing the plane’s late arrival as the reason.

For her part, Wilde has hinted that the feud is nothing more than “made-up clickbait.” Pugh has not commented on the rumours.

don’t worry darling hits UK cinemas on September 23. Don’t worry darling: Harry Styles’ performance was branded by critics as “leaden” and “robot-like”.


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