Nightmare Alley (2021) Movie Review ‘Brilliant Movie’

Nightmare Alley – Brilliant

 

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Kim Morgan (Screenplay) William Lindsay Gresham (Novel)

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen

Plot: An ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is.

Runtime: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Nightmare Alley starts when Stanton Carlisle (Cooper) finds himself joining the local carnival, learning the tips of the trade, as he looks to learn a new skill for himself. Stanton learns from Zeena (Collette) and Pete (Strathairn) who teach him the art of manipulation.

As Stanton looks to take his act away from the carnival with Molly (Mara) he will see himself meeting a new threat to him, Dr Lilith Ritter (Blanchett) who has her own tricks, that he isn’t prepared for.

Thoughts on Nightmare Alley

Characters & Performances – Stanton is a drifter searching for a fresh start in life when he joins the carnival. As Stanton learns about the tricks of the trade, he comes up with his own additions to the acts, which will show his ambition to be more than just a carny. Stanton becomes a showman, leading him to getting pushed beyond the safe levels of show, sending him down a dangerous path when he comes up against a like minded doctor. Bradley Cooper is brilliant in this leading role, showing the full journey his character goes on through the film. Dr Lilith Ritter is the woman that appears at one of the shows, she sees through his act, becoming fascinated with how he acts, drawing him in with potential of getting more, feeding his addiction along the way. Cate Blanchett storms into the film, giving us a performance, you are drawn towards every line and action she takes. Molly Cahill is one of the acts in the carnival, she grabs Stanton’s attention, with him offering her promises of a life away from the carnival, one she can’t say no to, until she sees how far he will go to try and make more money, even though they have everything they want. Rooney Mara is wonderful too, much like the whole cast, which includes Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Richard Jenkins and Ron Perlman, everyone shines in every scene they are in.

StoryThe story in Nightmare Alley will follow an ambitious man who looks to perfect an act he learnt at the carnival, only to get caught up in a series of events which will see him meet his match and enter into a world he isn’t prepared for, with dangerous consequences. This is a story that will put a firm focus on greed, showing how one person can get caught up in wanting more, they don’t realize what they already have. It will show us that Stanton is hiding something else back, but the few points that will see his downfall, are the ones that will hint at where the story is going to go. There are certain moments in the story that will show the tricks of the trade of being a carnival performer, showing how different performances are achieved and how easily the audience can be manipulated.

ThemesNightmare Alley is a crime thriller that will see how a manipulating man will use people’s problems to take advantage of them, while getting put into a place where he can become a conman. Nightmare Alley is a visually beautiful movie, with amazing cinematography throughout, drawing you into each scene, mixed with the breath-taking set design going on throughout the film.

Final Thoughts Nightmare Alley is one of the best films of the year, beautiful to look at, captivating story and stunning performances.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.