Darling | Chicago Reader


John Schlesinger's indictment of “Swinging London” (1965) has dated more badly than granny glasses. Julie Christie won an Oscar as the brainless, opportunistic fashion model who becomes a star by betraying everyone in a 50-mile radius of Carnaby Street. Of course, as Schlesinger points out as poundingly as possible, she loses her soul in the process. Frederic Raphael's screenplay is animated by a shrieking, spinsterish horror over the loose sexual mores of the younger generation, and Schlesinger contributes to the hysteria with his trendy collection of jump cuts and whip-pans. London is decadent enough, but for real debauchery the characters head for Paris; they attend a Left Bank party where a woman walks around in a black brassiere. But somehow Christie's talent shines through this muck, and Laurence Harvey gets to do an entertaining George Sanders impression as the leader of the revels. With Dirk Bogarde as the voice of reason and decency.

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