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Nightmare Alley

Opening Date
13 Jan 2022
M18 Some Nudity and Violence
150 mins
English - subtitles to be advised
Mystery, Thriller
Guillermo del Toro
Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette , Richard Jenkins , Rooney Mara , Ron Perlman , Mary Steenburgen , David Strathairn
When charismatic but down-on-his-luck Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) endears himself to clairvoyant Zeena (Toni Collette) and her has-been mentalist husband Pete (David Strathairn) at a traveling carnival, he crafts a golden ticket to success, using this newly acquired knowledge to grift the wealthy elite of 1940s New York Society. With the virtuous Molly (Rooney Mara) loyally by his side, Stanton plots to con a dangerous tycoon (Richard Jenkins) with the aid of a mysterious psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who might be his most formidable opponent yet.
By InCinemas  10 Jan 2022
If Nightmare Alley were a carnival, Guillermo del Toro is its ringmaster, and Bradley Cooper its main attraction.
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A neo-noir psychological thriller based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, Nightmare Alley focuses on Stan Carlisle (Cooper), an ambitious carny who allies with psychiatrist Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett), who proves to be as dangerous as he is. What follows is a delicious, gritty tale of the pitfalls of social climbing.

Cooper seems to have unlocked something in himself after his major stint with A Star Is Born, delivering only buzz-worthy performances that will no doubt land him an Oscar one day. Praise on his screen presence is not without mention of the great chemistry between his fellow scene partners – most notably Blanchett’s seductress psychiatrist, Rooney Mara’s doe-eyed Molly, David Strathairn’s earnest Pete and Willem Dafoe and Toni Collette in their element.

Clocking in at 150 minutes, the film suffers from almost being dreary midway but viewers would have been too engrossed and hypnotised by then. The impeccable score and costume and production design really elevate the tone of del Toro’s vision, making the film an absolute visual and aural delight.

Nightmare Alley might just be the most normal del Toro vehicle to date but rest assured that the film is still very much in the auteur’s wheelhouse of horror grotesque beauty.
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