An ambitious conman on the rise takes his carnival show to New York City in Guillermo del Toro's deliciously art deco neo-noir.
When charismatic but down-on-his-luck Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) joins the circus, he quickly charms his way into the circle of clairvoyant Zeena (Toni Collette) and her mentalist husband. Using his new friends to learn the tricks of the conman trade, Stanton is soon embarking on an ambitious upward trajectory at breakneck speed that takes the new conman to the big smoke. There he performs for the upper echelons of New York society including a mysterious psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who takes a dangerous interest in him.
Following his Academy Award-winning The Shape of Water in 2017, director Guillermo del Toro returned in 2022 with two feature films and a series, kicking off with the January release of Nightmare Alley. Based on the 1946 novel and the 1947 film noir of the same name which were at the time set in the present day, Del Toro's neo-noir becomes a sumptuous period piece beautifully enveloping us in some of the most stunning art deco production design worthy of Tamara Deverell's Academy Award nomination.
However, like most films noir before it, the greatest strength of the film is surely Cate Blanchett's performance as one of the greatest femmes fatale of recent times, who commands uninterrupted attention from the audience's eye as she slinks in and out of frame. Less a damsel in distress, her Dr. Lillith Ritter is a working woman taking control.
– Reece Goodwin; Curator, Special Events & TV
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Viewers under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Contains strong violence and injury detail.
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