Sunday, February 13, 2022

Nightmare Alley

Sometimes you see the mere production design in a movie trailer and it immediately makes you want to see the entire film. That wish doubled for me when I realized that Guillermo del Toro directed it. He always makes interesting projects that are gorgeous to look at and well as twist the viewer's brain around. This weekend I watched his Hellboy II The Golden Army on mute while I was on my laptop but I still couldn't stop taking in the gorgeous sets, costumes and computer generated effect - all blended together perfectly in service of a good story. In that way GDT gives audiences a little bit more with each film he finishes. No two projects are ever the same.

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. Director Guillermo del Toro Writers Guillermo del Toro (screenplay by) Kim Morgan (screenplay by) William Lindsay Gresham (based on the novel by) Stars Bradley Cooper.

I try to finish every film I start but this one was a chore. I am on day four of watching in the hope that something interesting will happen. It's very film noir and it's carnival setting is interesting to watch but I just can't get into it for more than twenty minutes at a time. I am hoping for a twist noir type of ending but that seems unlikely at this point in my viewing. Call it del Toro lite. The fantasy elements in the film are few and far between.

Bradly Cooper is good but I am so distracted by his constant smoking that I can barely pay attention to what he is saying or doing while he is smoking. I know that was common for films set in the early 1900s but he is the only one in the film that smokes. And THAT infuriated me because it's so unneeded. I would have never been missed. No one would have complained about the lack of smoking in the film because WHO does that these days?

The last hour is interesting as Cooper plans his biggest con ever. That is where the twist ending comes in and I suppose that is worth four days of my time to get to the end of the story. But again, maybe it isn't.

This one will bother me for a long time because I still can't figure out what I just watched and if I enjoyed it or I didn't.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this one. Interesting point about the smoking.

Tundra Bunny said...

Have you seen the 1947 film starring Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell? I highly recommend it if you like classic film noir. Guillermo del Torro is a fine director, but some classics should not be remade!