Nightmare Alley

Nightmare Alley ★★★★½

Yeah it's long but it never really feels like very much time is wasted and del Toro's finally hit a point (starting with Crimson Peak) where his talents feel so genuine and effortless, that he can glide the camera as much as he wants and it never feels cheap. Fantastic performances (though I'm almost not quite sold on Jenkins, his last scene makes it); even the usual cardboard Bradley Cooper really kinda rules. Killer script. No clue how clearly it lifts from the novel nor the original 40s version, both of which I avoided to make this as blind as possible and hoo boy did I love it. Something about a couple doing cons together really scratched the immediate itch Better Call Saul left when I finished it this week* but obviously it's so much more than that and totally rewarding. It was evident that The Shape of Water was gonna be a tough act to follow considering it was top 3 of the 2010s -- that whatever did follow wouldn't be as good -- but honestly this isn't too much of a step down.
I'm probably slightly overrating this or too forgiving of some of its flaws, but it was deeply exciting, thrilling movie making to me with a good amount of meat on its bones and that's precisely why I love going to the movie house.

*ok talk to me about Better Call Saul though, jesus do I regret being too worried it would be cheap fanfiction to start it sooner. Jimmy McGill's gotta be way up there with my favourite main characters ever and and Winner is, like, top 5 episodes of TV full stop. Can't wait to see if s6 sticks the landing so I can say it's better than Breaking Bad.

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