Nightmare Alley

classified 15

Please note: This was screened in Feb 2022

Guillermo del Toro
Bradley Cooper, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett
149 mins, 2021, USA
Primary language

Guillermo del Toro follows his Oscar®-winning The Shape of Water with this hauntingly gorgeous neo-noir adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name.

Bradley Cooper stars in a career-best role as the charismatic but down-on-his-luck Stanton Carlisle, who endears himself to clairvoyant Zeena (Toni Collette) and her has-been alcoholic husband Pete (David Strathairn) at a travelling carnival. Stan becomes intoxicated with the power that mind tricks and illusions can bring and 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, he 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...

Step right up and immerse yourself in the ramshackle life of the travelling carnival and the sophisticated art deco trappings of 1940s Buffalo, New York - this is a visually stunning, engrossing yet disturbing journey into the psyche of a tragic swindler whose own nature seals his fate.