For all the off screen drama rumored to have happened during the production of this film, you would never know after viewing the final product.
Set in the 1950s, Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Stiles) live an idyllic life in a small community where the men go off to work and the women keep house. Everything seems fine until Alice begins seeing strange things. Her perfect life unravels as she is challenged and manipulated by her husband, neighbor (Olivia Wilde), and Jack’s boss (Chris Pine).
If you’re paying attention, the twist isn’t much of a twist but you’re happy when if finally arrives. In reality, this is a cautionary tale on not living in the past. Set design and costumes make for a great setting, even if Harry Stiles seems completely miscast.
Olivia Wilde talked heavily about how this film was about feminism. Female empowerment, rah rah! I, however, felt that the misogyny used to manipulate and trap Alice in what would have been a nightmare for any woman overshadowed that feminism. Yes, Alice escapes. But why was she in the situation to begin with?
Wilde is a talented director, and Pugh is a brilliant actress. They are the shining stars of this film that is good but not great. Entertaining and watchable, but doesn’t reinvent the wheel.