NIGHTMARE ALLEY (2021) Review: Nightmare Long

 Nightmare Alley stars quite the cast, including Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, & David Strathairn in a film directed by Guillermo del Toro.

The synopsis reads as follows:

"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."

The film starts out watching Bradley Cooper walking away from a home that he just set on fire. From there, he joins a carnival, meets a girl, they leave the carnival to start their own kind of carny entertainment, does really well at it until Cooper meets a conman who is better at the game than even he is and suddenly his wonderful life starts to begin to unravel.

Oh where do I start?

Guillermo loves to tell and tale in-depth, and this film runs two hours and thirty minutes to prove it. 

But to be honest, the first third of the film is just developing our one character of Cooper's, just to start to engage the film's synopsis. We meet people that have NOTHING to do with the underlying plot. Once we get into act two, that too is a bit slow but at least we've started to engage the characters that will get the plot we've been promised, moving forward.

This is a very deeply detailed running story, with details and nuances that are wonderful to experience, as one turn of the story leads to another.

It all comes down to what I feel is a classic kind of del Toro ending, but I'll leave that for you to decide.

If it weren't so long, I would have loved this movie.

Nightmare Alley got a 7.2/10 on IMDb and was nominated for four Oscars. So you be the judge.

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