Julie Christie plays the part of Darling in this story of a stylish amoral model. There are three men in her life, each of whom willingly or involuntarily helps her on her way to the top. Dirk Bogarde plays a TV interviewer, an honest man striving to tell illusion from reality; Laurence Harvey, an advertising executive, totally cynical about manipulating society's values; and Roland Curram, a gay magazine photographer battening parasitically on glossy society. There is also a 'fourth man' - the one whom Darling marries, only to find herself a prisoner of the smart world she has conquered. Although Darling thinks she can exploit society to her own advantage, she ends up exploited - manipulated by men who are, aptly enough, professional image-makers at a time in British life when the image said it all (or so it was thought). And at the centre of it all, incarnating the decade which saw the ascension of the model girl to the status of international idol, Julie Christie gives the sort of indelible performance that made many of her subsequent roles look like Darling's distant cousins or historical ancestors.
An absolutely perfect movie.
- Darling review by CW
Darling is one of my fave movies & I watch it again every few years. Everything so well thought out. Brilliant script, directing, cast, sets, costumes. Heartbreaking story with young Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde and Laurence Harvey. Perfectly cast. Darling and Midnight Cowboy two masterpieces by John Schlesinger. The story is told in an interview with Diana (Julie Christie) who is an unreliable narrator. She takes the interviewer from her childhood to her first interview for a TV show, her modelling career, affairs and reinventions. There are breathtaking scenes with acting as good as it gets. I absolutely love a Darling and highly recommend.