"It's far too pleased with itself. I wince when I see it now", director John Schlesinger observes of his 1965 film, Darling. You can tell why he's embarrassed. Looking back, his swinging 60s' satire about a model (Julie Christie) so keen to get ahead that she ditches her husband and betrays a succession of boyfriends looks hideously dated. With its self-consciously hip dialogue and unnecessary voice-over, the screenplay by Frederic Raphael (who also wrote Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut) doesn't help. Most of the men Christie encounters, whether Laurence Harvey's slick businessman... (who can't pass a mirror without preening himself in it) or Dirk Bogarde's neurotic TV pundit (who has delusions of literary grandeur), are as narcissistic as she is. Although this seems to be a cautionary tale about slick, superficial London media and fashion folk, it's obvious that the filmmakers are half in love with the world they're pretending to lampoon. The visual gags--rich, society matrons at a charity event gorging themselves on food or Christie's poster being plastered over an image of a starving child--are heavy-handed in the extreme. Still, Christie is tremendous in the role which established her as an international star (she won an Oscar). However shallow and selfish her character seems, we can't help but warm to her. --Geoffrey Macnab [show more]
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Diana Scott (Julie Christie in an Oscar winning performance) is an ambitious model determined to make it to the top. Using her sexuality, she manipulates powerful men, but in so doing becomes a prisoner of the jet-setting lifestyle she once yearned for. Dirk Bogarde co-stars as Diana's long-suffering boyfriend. The film also won Oscars for Best Original Story and Screenplay, and Costume.