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Nightmare Alley, adapted from the 1946 novel of the same name by William Linday Gresham, is Academy Award-winner Guillermo Del Toro’s (The Shape of Water) take on the classic noir-thriller. The film stars Bradley Cooper as a corrupt former Carnival worker, who becomes a nightclub entertainer and master manipulator. Using Carnival mind-reading tricks and charm, Cooper’s character Swanton Carlisle swindles millionaires out of money. Carlisle’s act is thrown into a lurch when he meets Dr Lilith Ritter, Cate Blanchett, an unsavoury psychiatrist initially intent on exposing his secrets and con-work – eventually becoming embroiled in his schemes.
Del Toro has assembled a star-studded cast including Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Rooney Mara, Holt McCallany, Clifton Collins Jr., Tim Blake Nelson, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn.
Deception and darkness is at the heart of Nightmare Alley, however the film does not feature monsters or ghouls; the only monsters in this film are human beings – glamourous, elegant and alluring in their malevolence.
Thursday 20th January
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Willem Dafoe, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Cate Blanchett, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Cooper, David Strathairn, Ron Perlman
Guillermo del Toro