May 20, 2024
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‘Nightmare Alley’ review: Bradley Cooper swindles his way to the top in Guillermo del Toro’s gorgeous carnival melodrama

Published by
Chicago Tribune

I love the way Guillermo del Toro spends a production budget. The director-fabulist behind “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “The Shape of Water” and other trancelike stories wants us to feel, and smell, and taste what he does. The worlds he creates on screen are a part of the world around us, as well as a different one, sprung from his imagination, in cahoots with some brilliant designers. “Nightmare Alley” is del Toro’s latest exercise in methodical cinematic hypnotism. It’s an adaptation of the 1946 William Lindsay Gresham novel. The new film is also in spiritual cahoots with Edmund Goulding’s 1947 film v…

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