After recently producing several movies (Antlers, Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark, The Witches…), Guillermo del Toro is back as a director.
His latest movie, the “Nightmare Alley” thriller, is expected from January 19, 2022 in movie theaters.
Guillermo del Toro has not released a movie as a director since 2017 with “The Shape of Water” – a movie that won 4 Academy Awards. With Nightmare Alley, the Mexican director goes into film noir. He adapted William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 eponymous novel.
For this new movie, he gathered a prestigious cast. Nightmare Alley stars Bradley Cooper (also starring in Licorice Pizza, released two weeks earlier), Cate Blanchette (Don’t Look Up on Netflix), Toni Collette and Willem Dafoe (The French Dispatch…). As well as Richard Jenkins (Kajillionaire…) and Rooney Mara (Mary Magdalene, A Ghost Story…).
In a bad place, the charismatic Stanton Carlisle (Cooper) ends up in a traveling fair and manages to win the favor of a clairvoyant, Zeena (Collette), and her husband, Pete (David Strathairn), a former mentalism leading light. Taught by them he sees a way to win a one-way for success and decides to use his new talents to swindle the elite of the good New York 1940’s society.
With the good and loyal Molly (Mara) by his sides, Stanton starts plotting to swindle a man as powerful as dangerous (Jenkins).
He will be helped by a mysterious psychiatrist (Blanchett) who could be the toughest of all his enemies…
With Nightmare Alley, Guillermo del Toro explores for the first time in his movie director career, the film noir genre.
In this feature film, where the background is first and foremost a fun fair with a somehow gloomy and sticky vibe, Del Toro always shows his real sense for aesthetism, giving the movie some animation movie vibes, carrying the camera along like in a tale. A tale illustrated by a beautiful soundtrack.
The freak figure makes us think about The Shape of Water.
Although the first part of the movie - taking place in the funfair - is very interesting, the rest - after a two-year ellipsis and no longer taking place in this universe - is a bit less catching, all the more so the movie is quite long (2.5 hours), which could be even too long.
In Nightmare Alley, Guillermo del Toro especially stages the glory and fall of his main character, Stan (Bradley Cooper, very convinving), whose path is filled with death.