Diana Scott (Julie Christie) is a successful model eager to further her station. Unafraid in climbing the social ladder, her conquests have been many. Among them are Robert Gold (Dirk Bogarde) and Miles (Laurence Harvey).
Using both to gain wealth, adulation and fame, Diana’s material limits know no bounds. Under the veneer of sophistication lies secrets she dares not expose. Running away from a past by creating a glittering future, her behaviour has the potential to unfurl her extravagant dreams.
Directed by John Schlesinger, Darling is often fascinating. Exploring Diana’s wayward existence, we see someone living the glamorous life whilst feeling empty inside. Whilst she is partaking in it, her reality is much different. Vain, insecure, hypocritical and selfish, her negative emotions run the gamut. How she reconciles these qualities with her occasional feelings of remorse is what provides Darling’s finest moments.
None of this would work without Julie Christie’s amazing, Oscar-winning performance. She truly embodies this rather sad character seemingly having everything and yet has nothing. Christie injects a sympathetic edge into what should be a horrible personality. She is ably supporting by a fine cast with some amazing cinematography capturing the opulence of Diana’s world. Darling further captivates due to its timelessness – although originally released in 1965, the quest for riches and fame is something currently seen everywhere daily now.
Darling is a very interesting portrait in the fruitless pursuit of unending happiness. With a lead character eternally unsatisfied with her life, such a notion seems impossible. Watching her on her journey remains absorbing with lessons from its release decades ago still echoing today.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 8