Nightmare Alley

Nightmare Alley ★★

While I am glad they are making movies for adults, I think the matinee crowd deserves something with a soul. Blanchett, Mara, and Collette all seem to be in different movies. Toni Collette is in something far more lurid, potentially with uh... religiously inspired witch caricatures, and Rooney Mara is in a high school theater production doing her best freshman imitation of the transatlantic accent. And Cate Blanchett, well, is Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock.

It's a shame Del Toro's stylish funhouse setpieces and crisp lighting are matched with actors who interact like unamused English class partners, not women who played lovers just six years before. The carousel scene should be twinkling magic for the romance, but the lack of chemistry, not to mention Cooper (I think, I can't tell men apart) and Mara have the sexual tension of Barbies from mismatched knockoff brands. It's got all the subtlety and buildup of the fake Disney -World or Land I've never been- castle, which is a damn shame as I love a good murder circus. This came from a man-slutty shrink noir flick and a damn good novel, I deserved better!

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