‘Nightmare Alley’ Review: Bradley Cooper Shines in Guillermo del Toro’s Glossy Carnival of Souls

‘Nightmare Alley’ Review: Bradley Cooper Shines in Guillermo del Toro’s Glossy Carnival of Souls
The observation that men are the real monsters in Guillermo del Toro movies has become so vividly self-evident that it now offers all the same insight of noting that Quentin Tarantino loves feet, or that the old guy who popped up in the first two dozen MCU films had something to do with the comics that inspired them.

The Shape of Water” may have been a bold choice for Best Picture, but that Oscar-winning fable about a mute cleaning lady who falls in love with an imprisoned fishman stretched del Toro’s lifelong obsession with poignant genre stories to a fairy-tale ending. It was hard to imagine what “happily ever after” might look like for someone whose B-picture heart earned him prestige-picture hardware. Would he pivot away from his pet obsession, or would he use his newfound pedigree to double down like never before?

The answer, perhaps inevitably, is a bit of both.
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