Margaret Qualley and Demi Moore’s exciting new movie The Substance tackles ageing and beauty standards

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Margaret Qualley and Demi Moore’s exciting new movie The Substance tackles ageing and beauty standards


It reads: “Have you ever dreamed of a better version of yourself? You should try this new product: The Substance. It changed my life. With The Substance, you can generate another version of yourself: younger, more beautiful, more perfect… Just share the time. One week for one, one week for the other. A perfect balance of seven days. Easy, isn’t it? If you follow the instructions, what could go wrong?”

We also know that Demi plays Elisabeth Sparkle, a 50-year-old star of an aerobics show, who is fired from her job on her birthday due to her age. She is then approached by a laboratory who offer her an injectable “substance” which will make her the “best version” of herself – “younger, more beautiful, more perfect”. Margaret plays a younger version of Elisabeth, Sue.

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The Substance cast

Joining Margaret and Demi will be Dennis Quaid (aka the dad in The Parent Trap), who plays the misogynistic producer who fires Elisabeth. Hugo Diego Garcia, Matthew Géczy, Joseph Balderrama, Oscar Lesage and Gore Abrams will also star.

The Substance release date

After its premiere at Cannes Film Festival, we are waiting on a UK release date – it will be released in the US on 20 September, though, so we’re hoping it’ll come to the UK around the same time.

The Substance trailer

There isn’t a full trailer yet, but watch the teaser clip below:

What have reviews said so far about The Substance?

A review form The Hollywood Reporter has praised the movie’s attack of beauty standards and Hollywood and how both “trap” women.

“Fargeat combines sci-fi elements with body horror and satire to show how women are trapped by the dual forces of sexism and ageism,” the review reads. “Beauty and youth are the targets at the heart of this film, but the director also takes aim at Hollywood’s ghoulish machinations and the compulsive physical and psychological intrusiveness of cisgender heterosexual men.”

British Vogue has called it “a gonzo, breathless descent into the abyss” – sign us up.



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