Guillermo Del Toro’s Latest Oscar-Nominated Film is a Powerful Period Piece Impossible to Not Geek Out Over Deserving Theatrical Viewing for Shining Light on Alcoholism’s Gollum-inous Repercussions

by Hassan Ilahi

It’s commonly difficult Bond stockbrokers suffering The-Shining alcoholic addictions destroyed Vertigo temptations. If The-Wolf-of-Wall-Street former-millionaire inspected Guillermo Del Toro’s career, artist’s beers costs un-Belfort-unate stock-market share drops. Corleone-d offers one can’t refuse Godfather gurus, Del Toro must abandon booze avoiding Leave-the-Gun-and-Take-Cannoli views. As prized possession as Gollum-inous ring, it’s impossible not succumb alcohol’s “My-Precious” temptations. Del Toro’s offered excuse not empathizing with Ma-Nicholson father throwing Kubrick-s families with “Here’s-Johnny!” short fuse. After Psycho abducting father across Rear-Window, Del Toro’s Hitch-corked open alcohol conquering Vertigo-inducing hallucinations. Throwing Fitzgerald over Green-light, director developed idolize The-Great-Gatsby party. However, inability face un-Cage fears Leaving-Las-Vegas hurt career. Although sin-Lannister queens drink beverages hurt Game-of-Thrones marriages, in Stark contrast today alcoholism’s Bran-ded act courage. Like spies, it’s hard bid Shaken-not-Stirred-Martinis goodbyes. Falling Shallow shames as old flames households names, Del Toro’s past A-Star-is-Born fame. Chased t-Hank-less FBI Leonardo-hearted crime, artist flee Catch-Me-if-You-Can prison-time. Still, The-Social-Network triple teen drinking (Ali, 2011) illustrates director realization: “You-Don’t-Get-500-Million-Friends-Without-Enemies”. How did artist climb up-Hill mountains transforming “somebody-in-neighborhoods-full-of-nobodies”?

Now, Del Toro Walk-the-Line between alcoholism’s peaks/valleys The-Great-Gatsby’s The-Hangover ceremonies apprehended police authorities Leaving-Las-Vegas Oscar-nominated Nightmare Alley. Old-fashioned, nostalgic and riveting, it demonstrates artists deserve embarking Fellowship-of-the-Ring expeditions without “My-Precious” temptations. With Oscar-nominated drama, Del Toro battles alcoholism stigma. Boasting Hitchcockian visuals, Gollum-inous production-design and Corleone-ful performances, it’s riveting remake. Although “Nightmare Alley’s” intoxicating, it isn’t aged-like-fine-wine. It’s disastrously paced, lacking sympathetic Catch-Me-if-You-Can con-artists. Nevertheless, it provides intoxicating entertainment film-noir aficionados.

Amidst Great Depression, Nightmare Alley follows Wolf-ish conman whose alcohol addiction perpetuates Wall-Street transgressions. Bradley Cooper personifies Stanton Carlisle, homeless drifter having fortune-telling abilities. Following discovering carnival troupes, Stan ascertains opportunity. However, success alley become nightmares when seductive psychiatrist Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett) becomes Stan’s partner-in-crimes. Alcohol-dependent, Stan questions Green-light’s attainable.

Guillermo Del Toro’s commonly gravitated Hellboy monster afflicted Pan’s-Labyrinth nightmares whose nostrils flare beer over The-Shape-of-Water love-affair. Following 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth, Del Toro’s become fantastic Mexican filmmaker. Oscar-winning Pan’s Labyrinth offered fantastical glimpses adolescent girls employing imaginations escaping alcoholic father war-torn Spanish-Civil-War conditions. With Nightmare Alley, however, Del Toro creates film-noir. It’s filmmaker’s endeavors reimagining legendary film-noir modernized anti-alcoholisms point-of-views, but accomplishes commendably. Through Hitchcockian cinematography, Del Toro demonstrates carnival con-artist’s self-destructions expeditions suffering alcohol addictions. Evoking Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Del Toro expertly employs low-key lighting conveying con-artists’ psyche experiencing Vertigo-induced hallucination owing alcoholism. Recalling Scottie’s Vertigo heights fears destroying careers cultivating obsessive love-affairs, Stan’s debilitating alcoholism declines abilities persevering con-artist pioneers. Whereas Edmund Goulding’s 1947 classic used low-key lighting evoking bygone era nostalgia when alcoholism avoided dilemma, Del Toro confronts trauma. Alongside cinematographer Dan Laustsen, Del Toro demonstrates alcohol’s Vertigo-reactionary psychologies. Del Toro commendably demonstrates alcoholism’s perspectives, manufacturing theatricalized viewing.

If world-famous alcoholism film-noir remakes don’t magnetize attentions, however, there’s innumerable reasons watching Nightmare Alley. In Hollywood, alcoholism’s all-too-commonly demonstrated inoffensive socializations activities without repercussion. During Great Depression, bootlegging alcohol commonly symbolized Green-light millionaire escaping fear. Case-in-exemplar: Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby romanticized alcoholism Daisy flower Green-lights Great Gatsby millionaires getting Carraway position power. Fortunately, however, “Nightmare Alley” circumvents glorification. Imitating Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Del Toro employs Gollum-inous symbols signifying future repercussions enduring con-artists suffering alcohol addiction. Assisted production-designer Tamara Deverell, Del Toro utilizes Gollum-inous alcoholic creatures symbolizing Stan’s Mount-Doom destiny. For exemplars, symbolism’s magnificently employed foreshadow Stan’s doomed alcoholic destiny during Geek discoveries sequence. During unforgettable sequence, Stan’s requested relocating disappeared carnival performers. One acknowledges thought-provoking symbolism foreshadowing dangers awaiting Stan succumbs towards alcohol’s temptations Gollum-inous styles recalling Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers. Recalling Gollum’s incapacity circumventing ring’s “My-Precious” temptation cultivating self-destruction, Geek’s curse and blessings-in-disguise. It deviates Great Depression movies portraying alcoholism one-and-only solutions Lost Weekend vacation (ex. Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend). Symbolism strenuous technique employing film-noir movies. Symbolism appears appropriate movies highlighting social-network companies’ ill-fates (ex. David Fincher’s The Social Network) over alcoholic downwards trajectories. However, it succeeds beautifully. Moreover, Nathan Johnson’s score’s Bond-able. Evoking 007, music celebrates Shaken-not-Stirred-Martini. Through stellar set-designs, Del Toro embodies alcoholism.

One Geeks out over performances. Emulating Mike Figgis’ Leaving Las Vegas, director’s decision casting alcoholism celebrities works immensely.

Bradley Cooper delivers career-defining performances as Stanton Carlisle. Cooper’s achieved appreciations playing declining Bipolar patient witnessing Silver Linings following Footballs winnings (ex. David O. Russel’s Silver Linings Playbook). With Nightmare Alley, however, he draws personal experience. It’s demanding character necessitating movie-star reminisce alcoholism experiences. However, Cooper demonstrates “Mister-I-Was-Born-for-It”. Evoking Al Pacino in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, Cooper personifies con-artist Corleone-d offers can’t refuse from Godfather gurus. With strong expression, he signals con-man’s desire, greed and temptation. It’s stellar acting honor alcoholics.

Cate Blanchett’s captivating as sin-Lannister femme fatale skilled seductions using Tyrion-ical men achieve ascensions Game-of-Thrones profession. Emulating HBO’s Game of Thrones‘ Lena Headey, Blanchett creates mischievous con-artist employing sexualized seduction succeed profession. Whereas Barbara Stanwyck dehumanized Lilith Ritter one-dimensional sexual object, Blanchett signs body-language humanity. Whether eyeing Stan nightclub or exposing bare-naked wounds, Blanchett translates Ritter’s deception body-language. It’s phenomenal performance honoring film-noir heroines.

Final standout’s Rooney Mara. Emulating Lady Gaga in Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born, Mara humanizes star rising-to-fame.

Despite award-worthy performances, however, Nightmare Alley doesn’t excavate deep alcoholics’ The-Shining psyches like Catch-Me-if-You-Can Goodfellas Leaving-Las-Vegas achieving Ocean’s-11 robberies following Dazed-and-Confused The-Hangover parties. Del Toro’s decisions deviating source materials incorporating parental-traumas subplot’s bold and unpredictable, but damages pacing. Owing ill-conceived technique, sequences emphasizing Stan’s abusive father aren’t as engaging as con-artist careers. Parental trauma’s subjects appropriate psychological thrillers about Torrance-mented Overlooked Hotels (ex. Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining) over film-noirs reinterpretations. Furthermore, adaptation lacks sympathetic con-artists. For instance, Stan’s despicable con-artist whose grotesque crimes cultivates minimal emotional investments times. We’re scarcely given meaningful reasons rooting Stan beyond disastrous alcoholic with traumatized past. As Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me if You Can proved, Leonardo-hearted thieves merit t-Hank-ful humanity. Hence, remake falters.

Conclusively, not everyone’ll cheer Nightmare Alley depending whether prepare Wolf-of-Wall-Street millionaires whose careers beyond repairs. Mimic Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, movie’s un-Belfort-unate stock-market share won’t please everyone. Del Toro discusses animal cruelties, capitalism and family traumas. Therefore, Nightmare Alley isn’t tailored everyone.

Ultimately, Nightmare Alley alcoholic airline pilot facing legal action following Flight crash tarnish whip-smart reputations. An engrossing but overstuffed remake, it suggests Cinema’s “My-Precious” ring battling alcoholism’s Gollum-inous stigma. If musician whose melodies nobody goes Gaga for past A-Star-is-Born fame faced Shallow misery following husband suicide tragedies asked alcoholism effects, they’d advise Maybe-it’s-Time-to-Let-Old-Ways-Die rewarding Clean-and-Sober celebrities second chance despite The-Great-Gatsby arguing there’s no harm having Another-Round at The-Hangover parties hosted The-Social-Network companies whose plans Leaving-Las-Vegas stealing Casino-Royale lotteries in Ocean’s-11 robbery penning Catch-Me-if-You-Can soliloquy are thwarted by Goodfellas gang suffering Vertigo peeking Rear-Windows Psycho believing only way “become-somebody-in-neighborhood-full-of-nobodies” gatecrashing Superbad university graduates Dazed-and-Confused fraternities-ceremonies whose Bond-ed role model Goldeneye spies experiencing Skyfall with No-Time-to-Die disposing MoneyPenny on Shaken-Not-Stirred-Martini swallowed Pirates-of-the-Caribbean travelling Stranger-Tide seas domineered Sparrow sailor infrequently listening “You’re-Gonna-Need-a-Bigger-Boat” warnings Shutter-Island overpowered Jaws sharks frightening t-Hank-less executives Cast-Away following United-93 airplanes-crashes terrorizing Pan’s-Labyrinth nightmare janitors believing The-Shape-of-Water rather than booze possess power determining destinies creatures born Hellboy facial deformities laboratories supervised Wall-Street millionaires advocating “Greed-is-Good” philosophies inciting impoverished Korea families concoct Parasite home-invasion burglaries.

Hassan’s Grade: B+