came out okay in Don’t Worry Darling, which premiered last week in Venice, but here he’s top-billed—the only actor named before the film’s title in the opening credits—and he’s not yet up to that responsibility.
Tom is guileless and simple, with a sadness hanging around him. Styles’s thoughtful, shaggy-sweet quality works well for that, but when he has to hold a scene’s emotional tenor for longer than a line reading, he’s flat. He projects a glow of decency throughout the film, which means he’s not unwelcome in any given scene, but you ache for him every time a bit of dialogue thuds. This kind of film is not yet his milieu. Maybe it will be someday. That would certainly be a happier ending than anyone gets in My Policeman, which punishes these poor souls for having ever dared do anything at all.