Almost five years after his fantastic tale “The Shape of Water”, which won four golden statuettes, director Guillermo del Toro signs “Nightmare Alley”, which will be released in cinemas on January 19, 2022.
Taken from the eponymous novel by William Lindsay Gresham, published in 1946, this thriller with a black atmosphere, stars Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett, who deliver a high level performance.
a captivating plot
This time, the Mexican filmmaker takes the viewer to the 1940s, to the heart of a traveling fair, where illusion acts are linked in an atmosphere that is both marvelous and creepy. We follow the rise, then the downfall, of Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper), a broken vagabond who is initiated into the traditions of fairgrounds and the art of performing.
After being trained by clairvoyant Zeena (Toni Collette), and her husband Pete (David Strathairn), the man, who has become a master in the art of manipulation, uses his number to extract money from the new elite. -Yorkaise with the help of her partner and assistant Molly (Rooney Mara), aka Elektra, the electric woman. But his American dream will turn into a nightmare.
A rich industrial tycoon, very powerful and dangerous, consumed by guilt, will call on him to speak with his late daughter. To fool him, Stanton, who wants to embark ever further on the path of illusion, thinks he can count on Dr. Lilith Ritter, a mysterious Freudian psychoanalyst, brilliantly embodied by actress Cate Blanchett.
A CRITIQUE OF CAPITALISM
But this femme fatale, thirsty for vengeance, and just as brilliant as the protagonist, is determined, in turn to manipulate the manipulator, and to precipitate his downfall.
Wanting too much, you lose everything, recalls the filmmaker through this feature film which speaks of fear, pretenses and the ravages of greed. It reveals the dark side of American capitalism while highlighting the idea that, yesterday as today, “some people use spirituality to exploit their innocent fellow men”, explains the director of “Hellboy”.
Beautifully shot and carried by colorful characters, the film also benefits from extravagant settings. Guillermo del Toro had a life-size replica of the great American fairgrounds built, with a set of period attractions, and marquees.
And under one of them, hides “a geek” (Paul Anderson), a poor man addicted to opium ready to do anything to avoid the lack, even to behead or eat live chickens with his teeth. Supported by Clem (Willem Dafoe), this geek actually represents everything Stanton fears for himself.
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Why do you have to go see “Nightmare Alley”, with Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett?