Olivia Wilde’s feminist sci-fi thriller “Don’t Worry Darling” has generated outsized interest due to the headlines involving the backstage turmoil during and after filming. I just wish the movie were as interesting. Florence Pugh gives an electric performance as a 50s-era housewife whose life unravels when she figures out that things just aren’t what they seem to be in her idyllic community. Wilde’s direction is suitably showy, but there’s no payoff in “Don’t Worry, Darling,” an ambiguous, head-scratching exercise in paranoia.
The Netflix drama “A Jazzman’s Blues” is a lush romantic period piece from writer/director Tyler Perry. A stack of old love letters untangles a murder mystery that unfolds against a backdrop of old South racism. While it’s beautifully produced, it’s also very soapy, sometimes sappy, and the lead actors lack spark. Still, “A Jazzman’s Blues” is a sporadically engaging old school melodrama.
Also on Netflix, the considerable efforts of Oscar-winner Allison Janney, one of our best actresses, can’t save the goofy thriller, “Lou.” Janney plays the title character, a mutinous CIA agent on the run from the agency who risks all to save her kidnapped granddaughter. It might be hard to watch “Lou” while rolling your eyeballs.
Over on Apple TV+, the life of one of the best and most charismatic actors in Hollywood history gets a documentary worthy of his talents. “Sidney,” a profile of the late Sidney Poitier, tells a completely engaging story and skillfully interweaves his rise to stardom with the rise of the Civil Rights movement, adding solid historical context. Don’t be too surprised if this film about a two-time Oscar recipient gets some awards love of its own.