Arts & Entertainment

Del Toro’s ‘Nightmare Alley’ finally premieres after pandemic stoppage

By Helen Cook

New York City, US, Dec 1 (EFE).- It took almost two years to complete, but Guillermo del Toro’s latest film “Nightmare Alley” finally premiered Wednesday in New York City with the Mexican filmmaker and some of the star-studded cast such as Rooney Mara and Bradley Cooper in attendance.

The event, held in the Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, was the first opportunity to see the long-awaited film before it hits theaters on Dec. 17, but only a lucky few were able to attend, including the model and Cooper’s ex-partner, Irina Shayk.

Del Toro, dressed in a classic black suit and suffering from knee pain, barely had a chance to speak to reporters and only walked briefly on the black – not red – carpet.

Black was perhaps a nod to the film’s genre, a neo-noir psychological thriller based on William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name, which was also adapted into a 1947 film.

David Strathairn, known for his work in the Oscar-winning “Nomadland” (2020) and Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” (2012), told Efe that the world needs more of this genre, and more films that provide an extraordinary visual experience, that transport people to another place, but that at the same time hold on to the humanity of people.

He added it was a pleasure to work with del Toro, “to put it mildly.”

Like many other productions, this one was affected by the pandemic, with filming suspended for six months. However del Toro has told specialized media that this allowed him to delve further into the concept of the film.

“Nightmare Alley” is somewhat different to the films that the Mexican filmmaker is known for. Missing are the fantastic beasts and magical elements that star in “The Shape of Water” (2017) and “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006).

But he does delve into the world of clairvoyance in his plot, in which the main character, Stanton Carlisle (Cooper), an ambitious showman who strikes up a friendship with a clairvoyant played by Cate Blanchett, and discovers his talent for deception, which leads him to travel to New York with the aim of emptying the pockets of the city’s wealthiest.

In addition to Cooper, Mara and Blanchett, del Toro has employed an illustrious cast including Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Tim Blake Nelson and Holt McCallany.

Despite being the world premiere, neither veteran Blanchett, Collette, Dafoe, nor the young Mara walked the black carpet. EFE


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