The film is a psychological thriller set in the 1950s, in the fictional town of Victory, California. Pugh and Styles play Alice and Jack, a married couple who live in the town, which was built by the company Jack works for. As Alice tries to learn more about her community, tensions begin to arise between her and her new neighbors.
Reportedly, the production of the film had also been filled with tension, and interactions between the stars at Venice left the internet to speculate wildly.
"Some aspects of the unfolding interpersonal drama definitely appear like an unwieldy mess," Nicholas Baer, Assistant Professor of Media, Arts & Society at Utrecht University, told NPR. "So although it's always tricky to gauge intentionality, I'd imagine it's a combination of 'authentic' drama and savvy image manipulation."
The memes begin at the Venice Film Festival
On Monday morning ahead of the premiere, Wilde and the film's stars participated in a press conference—most of them, that is. Absent from the panel was Pugh, who flew to Italy from Budapest where she had been filming the sequel to Dune. Festival representatives told Variety that her nonattendance was because her flight to Italy wouldn't land until after the presser had taken place.