Nightmare Alley Review

I’ll take film noir for 500, Alex.

You’re probably familiar with the cinematic visionary guillermo del toro, Yes? The Academy Award-winning writer and director is, of course, known for his critically acclaimed films such as pan’s Labyrinth And water size, as well as fan favorites like bad boy movies and chronos,

And as a filmmaker known for weaving together fairy tales and horror stories, he has become an expert at making gorgeous, yet terrifying films. And guess what – nightmare alley Definitely ticks both of those boxes!

Keri Hayes / Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Before I go here, there are some gentle Spoils ahead, so if you want to go to the movie knowing nothing, bookmark it for later!

therefore, nightmare alley The story of Stan Carlisle, a mysterious and ambitious man, is as follows (Bradley Cooper), who works his way into the upper echelons of 1940s New York high society as the carnival sideshow “Mind Reader,” where he becomes embroiled in some serious drama with whip-smart psychotherapist Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett,

And if you weren’t aware, nightmare alley It is actually a remake of the 1947 film based on the novel of the same name in 1947.

20th Century Fox Film / Courtesy Everett Collection

The film begins with a visual bang—an intense, but grand, shot of fire in the middle of the living room in a dormant house. This is where we meet Stan, who, as it turns out, is genuinely interested in digging up “a ravaged past.”

And what do you do when you’re running away from something? Why, join the circus (or in this case, a sideshow carnival), of course!

Stan keeps to himself and proves himself to be a worthy laborer for Carnival owner Clem (willem defoe), which has a penchant for questionable practices and strange things in jars.

Keri Hayes / Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

We also meet a plethora of charming supporting characters like Strong Man Bruno (played by Del Toro’s favorite) Ron Perlman), Electric Girl Molly (Rooney Mara), clairvoyant Zina (toni collette), and her mentally husband is beating (David Strathearn,

Keri Hayes / Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Strathairn, BTW, totally steals the show in some of his scenes. He has a scene where he demonstrates his skills as a psychic, and it was precisely at that moment that I sat down in my seat and thought, Ohhh, so what is this movie about.

Anyway, Stan quickly learns that life as a carry, while for those who have been in the game too long, for someone like him basically perfect to reinvent himself. is the right place… and he does. With the semi-reluctant help of Zina and Pete.

Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

The first half of this movie is utterly mesmerizing—and embodies a lot of the fairy-tale-meets-horror energy del Toro does so well—but it’s also somewhat disorienting, which is on purpose.

Keri Hayes / Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

This takes us to the second half of the film – which has some serious film noir energy that I absolutely love.

Keri Hayes / Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

It’s here where we meet psychoanalyst Doctor Lilith Ritter, described as a “reverse female fatale” and played oh-so-perfectly by Cate Blanchett—indeed, Blanchett playing such a role. was born for.

Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

And, surprise, surprise, Lilith totally says crap on Stan’s Hustler Mindreader act. until… he proves her wrong (and shakes her to the core).

Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

BTW, there is tension between Stan and Lilith.

searchlight picture

In the studio’s production notes, del Toro explained, “Stanton and Lilith’s conflict is epic. Lilith has her own dark past that she’s trying to avenge and she’s very smart. It really makes Kate and Bradley two equal Watching the Titans working together as spectacularly manipulative was like a battle of the titans. Meanwhile, Blanchett said that the attraction between Dr. Ritter and Stanton isn’t just sexual, though the chemical attraction is evident. A sense of identity There is too.” He’s a lone wolf and that’s where he and Stan join. They are both running from the past, and they can see the similarities between them.”

Feeling like they’ve found something “equal” (or, at least, perhaps a partner in crime), Stan and Lilith team up to dodge some very important customers… and of course, trouble. it occurs.

Now, I’m not going to give the rest of the story for you all because 1) it’s a lot to unpack, 2) I’ll never do it justice, and 3) SPOILERS, duh.

Keri Hayes / Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

But I would like to add that this film is not just a gripping story, it is also beautiful to watch. From magical production design to stunning costume design, to great cinematography, nightmare alley A feast for the eyes. 10/10 would recommend.

Earlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

And for the record, the people responsible for these beautiful things are production designer Tamara Devrell, costume designer Luis Sequera, and director of photography Dan Lostson. So, big round of applause for them.

nightmare alley Will hit theaters only on December 17, 2021. And if you need more convincing, you can watch the trailer here:

watch this video on youtube

Searchlight Pictures / Via youtube.com

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