Nightmare Alley available now to stream on HBO Max and Hulu
Posted on
Feb 5, 2022

Nightmare Alley available now to stream on HBO Max and Hulu

Great day, everyone!

Nightmare Alley is now available to stream on HBO Max and Hulu in the US. We have updated the gallery with some behind the scenes photos, FYC campaign posters, and screencaptures from the movie and behind the scene look. The black and white version of Nightmare Alley is also playing nationwide in the US and selected theatres in UK and Mexico. Check out some interviews as well.

Screencaptures

Behind the Scenes


4K Trailer Screencaptures

On the Red Carpet Presents: Nightmare Alley Behind the Scenes

FYC Campaign

Black and White version release

Interview

Star-Gazing: In Conversation With Cate Blanchett

It’s a strange feeling to stare into the void of a Zoom loading screen, waiting for a two-time Oscar winner to join the call. But that’s what I did one Sunday morning, counting the seconds until my interview with Cate Blanchett began. Her schedule was packed—plenty of news services wanted interviews regarding her recent roles in Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up, two movies considered likely to receive Oscars nominations—but she found the time for a half-hour audio call.

I take a deep but not quite calming breath as she joins; knowing time is limited, we briefly exchange greetings and begin. The first thing I want to know is how she was cast in Nightmare Alley, a film noir about the rise and fall of Stan Carlisle, a carnival mentalist in 1940s America. In the movie, Blanchett plays Dr. Lilith Ritter, a cunning psychologist who seems to partner with Stan, but has an agenda of her own.

She tells me that she and director Guillermo del Toro had previously spoken about working on a project together; while that original project never bore fruit, he kept her in mind when it came time to cast Nightmare Alley. “I read the script, and was blown away by it, because it felt so distinct and obviously was drawing from deep recesses of not only the novel,” she says (referring to the 1946 novel by William Lindsay Gresham which the movie adapts), “but things that Guillermo and [co-writer] Kim Morgan had been thinking about for a long time.” I agree with her, saying that the movie’s clearly inspired by del Toro’s personal interests, such as his fondness for filming weird things in jars.

Laughing, she tells me that she and del Toro have a shared love of the horror genre—“I was gripped by that all through my adolescence…I now can’t watch a horror movie without peeing my pants”. But Nightmare Alley doesn’t just rely on the sinister visuals that del Toro is often associated with; rather, halfway through the film the setting shifts from a seedy, exploitative carnival to the elegant ballrooms and offices of New York. While beautiful, it’s ultimately an equally dark and destructive realm—“there’s blood in the panels of those walls,” Blanchett says of that setting.

So what makes film noir relevant as a genre these days? There are so many archetypes of the genre that can be used in a sloppy way, Blanchett notes, and a mere replica of its conventions can just end up being a “cinematic history lesson”. But what del Toro has done is to harness the tropes of the genre—characters haunted by a dark past, spaces that are claustrophobic and confining—and show how they remain pertinent to the psychology of the modern world.

Gresham’s novel was previously adapted as a black-and-white film in 1947 by director Edmund Goulding, and while Blanchett likes the film and had seen it prior to signing on to this project, she does point out a limitation in its storytelling. For her, the 1947 adaptation’s characterization of Dr. Ritter felt “hazy”, less memorable than some of its other components—but this, in a way, was useful.

Without the fear of being held back by Dr. Ritter’s portrayal in the previous version, she could put her own spin on the character. “She had to be a little Sphinx-like, in the sense that she’s asking the question, but you sense that there’s a power and weight of experience behind those questions,” she says. Del Toro prepared a detailed biography for the character, which Blanchett tells me was headed by a quote from Hamlet: “I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in”.

However, because she knew that to explicitly show her character’s past would be saying too much, the movie only hints at her true self and history. Blanchett especially praises the film’s production design, by Tamara Deverell, as a means of implying Dr. Ritter’s true nature—“I’ve never walked onto a set that so absolutely represented the character I was playing”. Ultimately, she didn’t want the character to be a stereotypical femme fatale, who sought to destroy men “simply because”; rather, Dr. Ritter had been physically and mentally scarred by a cruel world, and was trying to bring about a twisted form of justice.

But that goal wouldn’t be achieved without Stan Carlisle, played by Bradley Cooper, who her character simultaneously works with and undermines. “I adore Bradley”, she says, as an actor as well as a producer and director. They found that they had similar rhythms as actors, so that performing alongside him was enjoyable even in the darkest and most complex scenes—“it’s a dance of death…it’s a matador and a bull,” she says of their characters’ dynamics.

On the topic of the actor’s craft, does she see acting more as telling the truth or telling lies? She reflects on the question, telling me that for her, ultimately, “acting is revealing”. The things revealed can range from being pleasant to repulsive—“but it’s never, ever telling an audience what to think…I suppose that’s what art is, isn’t it? It does more and resonates more than what it seems to do on the surface.” Maybe that’s why some people think that art and acting is deception, she says.

With this film and Don’t Look Up (a disaster movie by Adam McKay that satirizes the inaction and misinformation surrounding the climate crisis) speaking to the uncertainty of the modern world, I ask her what it’s like to try and make sense of truth in a time where nothing seems to be known. She agrees that it’s become difficult to hunt the truth out, to get at the things that are foundational to a democracy. “I feel for students at the moment,” she says, wondering when it was that truth became degraded into nothing more than competing information sources—in the last six years? since the Cold War? “Certainly in the last four years, that word itself has been so destroyed”.

As for the function of art in general, she says, “I don’t think art is political; it’s wilfully not”. Whereas politics focuses on the here and now, artists have the freedom to look backwards or forwards in time, such as how del Toro’s film uses the 1940s to reflect modern cultural questions back at us. For her, art is a provocation, a space for dangerous ideas: “art is a much more irresponsible medium—it has to be”.

This leads the conversation to current affairs, specifically the experience of making movies during COVID–apart from her two aforementioned projects, last year she finished filming TÁR, a drama film by Todd Field, and is about to begin filming Disclaimer, a seven-part series by Alfonso Cuaron, as well as an adaptation of Lucia Berlin’s short stories, directed by Pedro Almodóvar, next year. Noting the importance of how stories and films provided escapism amidst the pandemic’s stresses, Blanchett tells me that she felt privileged to be part of the film industry. However, she also notes that “there are millions of out-of-work performers, particularly in the live performing arts” who’ve not been as lucky as her and have struggled because of the pandemic.

Blanchett also stresses that the film industry also hasn’t fully processed other key cultural moments such as Black Lives Matter or MeToo, and the need to address these systemic issues in an uncompromising way. “The pandemic revealed just how broken everything was,” she concludes this train of thought by saying, “as you put the pieces back together, the upside is that there’s an understood necessity in our industry to fix it.”

My final question for her is to ask, on behalf of our readers (and myself), for any film recommendations she might have. She replies that while she hasn’t been able to see anything in a cinema yet, she rewatched the 1981 TV miniseries adapting the novel Brideshead Revisited, singling out Jeremy Irons’ performance for particular praise. More recent works she singles out for praise include Long Day’s Journey Into Night, by Bi Gan—recommended to her by her son—the movies of Josephine Decker and Lucrecia Martel, and Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers. It’s clear from how she speaks that these are movies she genuinely feels passionate about.

With that, she answers my final question—or so I assume. Because, later that day, she messages me with one final recommendation: “The other film to see is RED ROCKET. Unforgettable”.

Note: We have added the countries where the black and white version of Nightmare Alley is released.

Source: Nightmare Alley, Cherwell

 

Conversation with the Cast of Nightmare Alley
Posted on
Dec 27, 2021

Conversation with the Cast of Nightmare Alley

Good day, Blanchetters!

An hour conversation with the cast of Nightmare Alley moderated by Laura Dern has been released. Watch below.

Warning: There are spoilers in the conversation

To follow up his Best Picture-winning “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo Del Toro pulled together an enviable ensemble of accomplished A-list actors for the noirish 1930s drama, “Nightmare Alley.” Adapted from the 1946 novel, the film tracks the hubristic rise of drifting con artist Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper, also a producer on the project). Carlisle parlays a show-stopping mentalist act to ascend from itinerant carnival sideshows to Chicago high society. From carnies to the upper-crust, the vibrant characters that move throughout Carlisle’s orbit will test his mettle and his moral compass.

Cooper, in particular, delves into the personal and creative kinship developed with Del Toro, as COVID delays allowed for extended prep work. The movie provided numerous firsts for the actor-producer, including the vulnerability of filming an intimate scene with Toni Collette’s veteran seer character, Zeena. Cate Blanchett, who portrays a frosty psychoanalyst keen to Carlisle’s deceptions, details how she situated a ‘laser-focused’ part within Del Toro’s collective vision. She recalls a crucial one-on-one scene with Carlisle: “You were amazing, Bradley. It was like suddenly the temperature dropped. All I had to do was let it come out of you; I didn’t have to do anything!” The candid chat among peers offers a fascinating glimpse into masterful creative processes—resulting in a film that exceeds the sum of its considerable parts.

In this mega-starry group chat organized by Searchlight, Laura Dern moderates a sprawling discussion with the bulk of the principal cast, including Cooper, Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, David Strathairn, Mary Steenburgen, and Ron Perlman. With evident warmth and mutual respect, each actor shares their experiences collaborating with Del Toro to nail their role in his meticulously realized world

Source: Backstage

Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up Updates
Posted on
Dec 15, 2021

Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up Updates

Hi, blanchetters!

We’ve made some updates with the gallery — screencaptures, behind the scenes, stills, FYC campaigns for both Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up have been added to their respective folders. There’s also new featurette and clips released as we are nearing the US release (December 17th) of Nightmare Alley. Check them below.

Cate on GMA

According to ABC News Public Relations Cate is set to appear on Good Morning America on December 17th as part of the promotion for Nightmare Alley.

Friday, Dec. 17—Actress Marisa Tomei (“Spider-Man No Way Home”); actress Cate Blanchett (“Nightmare Alley”); 12 Days of Cookies with Trisha Yearwood

Nightmare Alley Updates

HBO First Look: Nightmare Alley which is a 12-minute behind the scene look on the Guillermo Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley is now available on HBO Max in the US. Here’s Cate’s commentary and Lilith behind the scenes/clips.

Screencaptures

Behind the scenes

Stills

Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild Awards FYC Campaign

 

Cate has been nominated for Best Supporting Actress from two different critics associations for her portrayal of Dr. Lilith Ritter

Don’t Look Up News

The cast of Don’t Look Up has been nominated for Best Acting Ensemble in the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, January 9, 2022 and will be broadcast live on The CW television network.

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

The Harder They Fall

Licorice Pizza

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Source: ABC, Critics Choice

Nightmare Alley International Trailer and New Clips
Posted on
Dec 7, 2021

Nightmare Alley International Trailer and New Clips

Hi, everyone!

Nightmare Alley tickets are now on sale in the US. International trailer and a brand new clip with Cate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper in Dr. Lilith Ritter’s office has also been released. The official twitter account has also released clips featuring some new footages with Cate in the movie. Check them below!

Screencaptures

 

Cate Blanchett to star in Apple TV Series ‘Disclaimer’; & Nightmare Alley premiere
Posted on
Dec 2, 2021

Cate Blanchett to star in Apple TV Series ‘Disclaimer’; & Nightmare Alley premiere

Hi, Blanchett fans!

Cate has signed up to do another TV series which will be directed by Alfonso Cuarón. The cast of Don’t Look Up, where Cate plays Brie Evantee, has been nominated for Best Ensemble at Hollywood Critics Association. Nightmare Alley had it’s world premiere at Alice Tully Hall in New York last night. Unfortunately, Cate is not able to attend the red carpet premiere but she popped in for the Q&A after the screening. You can see the videos and photos plus the reviews and reactions on the movie below. Enjoy!

Special thanks to Cate Blanchett fans on CBF Chat for the links!

Cate Blanchett & Kevin Kline To Star In Alfonso Cuarón Thriller Series ‘Disclaimer’ For Apple

Alfonso Cuarón is adapting Renee Knight’s novel Disclaimer as a series for Apple TV+ with Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline starring.

The project marks the first series from the Roma filmmaker since he signed an overall deal with the streamer in 2019. It also marks a series debut for Sophie’s Choice and A Fish Called Wanda star Kline.

Cuarón to write, direct and executive produce all episodes of the series, marking the first time that he has written and directed all episodes of an original series. Blanchett also exec produces.

Blanchett plays Catherine Ravenscroft, a successful and respected television documentary journalist whose work has been built on revealing the concealed transgressions of long-respected institutions. When an intriguing novel written by a widower, played by Kline, appears on her bedside table, she is horrified to realize she is a key character in a story that she had hoped was long buried in the past. A story that reveals her darkest secret. A secret she thought was hers alone.

Disclaimer is produced by Cuarón’s Esperanto Filmoj and Anonymous Content. Academy Award-winner Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity) and Academy Award nominee Bruno Delbonnel (The Tragedy of Macbeth) will serve as directors of photography on the project. Cuarón serves as executive producer alongside Esperanto Filmoj’s Gabriela Rodriguez and Anonymous Content’s David Levine, Dawn Olmstead and the late Steve Golin. Renee Knight serves as co-executive producer.

Deadline

Don’t Look Up Nomination

Nightmare Alley Post Screening Q&A, Reviews and Reactions

Guillermo Del Toro’s Carnival Noir Is Stylish As Hell, With A Standout Cate Blanchett Performance

As good as the first half of “Nightmare Alley” may be, it really comes to life when Lilith shows up, played by Cate Blanchett. Blanchett was born to be a femme fatale in a film noir, and del Toro knows it. Dan Laustsen lights her in a consistently alluring way — there are multiple shots where the top half of her head, including her eyes, are bathed in shadows, and those shadows follow her around as if she had control over them. And from that darkness, those eyes sparkle with menace. Blanchett, with her deliberate way of speaking and the seductive way she breathes cigarette smoke, is simultaneously hot as hell and icy cold, and everything she does here is dynamite. She’s pretty poison in an ornate bottle.

As sumptuous as all of this is, “Nightmare Alley” does suffer from problems of pacing. Blanchett’s introduction to the film is so fierce that when the film starts focusing on anyone other than her, the story starts to feel like it’s dragging. Stan’s con game with Ezra goes on a little too long (although it’s worth noting it goes on even longer in the book), and del Toro and Morgan’s script fails to make this section of the story particularly interesting. At least not at first. However, “Nightmare Alley” does manage to eventually right itself, heading into a climax bursting with brutal violence and shocking twists. More than that, it’s all building up towards an ending that burns its way into your very soul. Without giving anything away, let me just tell you the final shot of this movie is an all-timer, and even if the film as a whole doesn’t work for you, I’m confident you’ll walk out of the theater haunted by those last moments.

— Full review on Slashfilm

Bradley Cooper disappears as Nightmare Alley’s lead, but Cate Blanchett is the true stunner

Commanding the role in its various phases, Bradley Cooper’s character is pushed in some ways we’ve seen before in Nightmare Alley, but it’s delivered with the actor aligning the ferocity we’ve seen him exhibit previously along with key doses of restraint. And yet, when it comes to the true stone cold stunning talent of this poisonous drama, you need not look further than Cate Blanchett’s Dr. Lilith Ritter.

Blanchett and Cooper’s pairing is one of the cinematic joys of 2021, as right from their first moments together on screen it’s absolutely what you would have expected and hoped for. The audience is going to obviously go into this movie with ideas in regard’s to Lilith’s motivations in Nightmare Alley, but whether those notions are fulfilled or not is incidental, as Blanchett’s pitch perfect performance supersedes such matters and culminates as a beautiful knockout. 

— Full review on Cinema Blend

Nightmare Alley Is Another Strong Oscar Contender for Guillermo del Toro

Nightmare Alley screened simultaneously across the country on Wednesday evening, a huge event to rev up its campaign. (A virtual Q&A with the cast followed the main premiere.) The movie itself lands as a rock-solid, potentially across-the-board player, bolstered by impeccable craft below the line and a superb ensemble in top form. It’s a darker movie than Shape of Water, though, and one that feels relatively conventional by modern standards, with a classic kind of antihero wading through a murky, suspensefully engineered tale of ambition and deceit. It’s hard to see this one stirring enough passion to go all the way.

Adapted from William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel—which was previously made into a 1947 film—Nightmare Alley tells its story in two halves. The first is set at a traveling carnival, where we meet Stan Carlisle (Bradley Cooper), a loner fleeing a hazy and fiery past. He develops a talent for trickery and manipulation under the guidance of carnie couple Zeena (Toni Collette) and Pete (David Strathairn), who jointly run a psychic show. He refines his act with love interest Molly (Rooney Mara), before the back half of the film finds him in an arrangement with mercurial psychiatrist Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett), which culminates in a plot against the wealthy tycoon Ezra Grindle (Richard Jenkins).

The narrative moves smartly and efficiently, with del Toro’s knack for artful entertainment on full display; the brutal, sharp ending neatly ties its two parts together. Based purely on the movie’s particular merits, as a strong commercial play with high craft-category potential—a combination not shared by many contenders this season—it’s easy to see Nightmare Alley pulling in one of the larger overall nomination hauls, with above-the-line recognition most likely in best picture and director. (The adapted screenplay, which del Toro penned with his wife, the critic Kim Morgan, is also in play.)

As to whether it can establish itself as an overall front-runner, the film is lacking in emotional pull—a central quality of recent winners, including The Shape of Water—which will be a significant obstacle. And while the cast is terrific, there’s no obvious acting nominee. Cooper’s work gets stronger and deeper as it goes, culminating in a pitch-perfect closer, but it’s quieter for much of the run time, a hindrance in a best-actor field dominated by capital-b Big performances. Running in supporting, Blanchett similarly holds her cards close until a corker of a final scene for her character; on the male supporting side, both Strathairn and Jenkins are superbly affecting whenever onscreen—it’s just that there may not be enough of them. At this stage it feels equally wrong to say no Nightmare actor will be nominated and that any of them will. Blanchett, who is particularly fantastic, likely stands the best chance.

Nightmare Alley arrives at an interesting point for del Toro, a filmmaker known for top-tier supernatural works and who was more admired than decorated until recently. He’s also a true student of noir who’d been attracted to this title for a long time. He finally got his chance to make Nightmare Alley, and put his stamp on the material with flair. Now that he’s an Academy darling, how far can that take him?

Vanity Fair

Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett in Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Nightmare Alley’

The first half of Nightmare Alley, Guillermo del Toro’s blood-dark jewel of an American saga, is set within the itinerant subculture of carnies, at the tail end of the Great Depression. “Folks here, they don’t make no never mind who you are or what you done,” Willem Dafoe’s carnival barker assures a newbie, Stanton Carlisle. That’s good news for Stan, who’s played by Bradley Cooper with an inscrutable chill, and who has drifted into the carnival after a long bus ride from some things he’d rather forget.

Shifting gears after the Cold War romantic fantasy The Shape of Water, del Toro burrows deep into the margins, both low and high, with his new film. His adaptation, with co-writer Kim Morgan, of William Lindsay Gresham’s novel Nightmare Alley is a more expansive version than the first film iteration of the book, a 1947 black-and-white feature that’s one of the most distinctive noirs ever made. Tyrone Power spearheaded that project, determined to leave behind the light adventure fare he was identified with and delve into more complex territory, and he delivered his finest screen performance. But audiences weren’t ready to see their silver-screen swashbuckler in antiheroic mode, an obstacle that Cooper, who has played his share of tarnished types, won’t face.

His performance takes a while to fully grab hold, no doubt as intended, and when it does, it’s riveting, at once alluring and repellent, holding the center of a superb cast. Not just a quick study but a coolly aggressive one, Stanton rises through the ranks of the low-rent carnival shows, with their lurid come-ons (mind-blowing creatures!) and soul-salving enticements (mind-reading psychics!). But whatever the carnies’ ruses and sleights of hand, it isn’t until Stanton becomes a star in the big city, where he meets an impossibly glamorous psychologist who’s named Lilith Ritter and played by a smooth-as-satin Cate Blanchett, that the real grifting begins.

The story opens in 1939, when the wounds of the Great War are still festering and another conflagration is on the horizon. One of Stan’s first lessons in the carnival involves the geek, whom he confronts in the House of Damnations. For a quarter, customers can witness sheer human debasement: The hopeless alcoholic who’s been lured into the job, and driven to madness, dutifully bites the head off a live chicken. (The original film’s offscreen treatment of these gruesome acts is more powerful than the graphic depiction del Toro provides.)

The barker Clem Hoatley (Willem Dafoe), who has assembled a collection of pickled fetuses, most of them human, that he calls the Unborn Wonders of Nature, shows Stan the carnival ropes. Mind-reader Zeena (Toni Collette) shows Stan a very personal welcome, while her dipsomaniac husband, Pete (David Strathairn), warns about the dangers of believing your own lies — words of wisdom that Stan ignores. He’s focused instead on the book containing the elaborate verbal code Zeena and Pete developed for a mentalist act they no longer perform. His ambition is ignited by his attraction to Molly (Rooney Mara), who is as low-key and sincere as her high-voltage act — she’s a human conductor of electricity — is flamboyant. In a quietly wrenching throwaway line, Molly, who has been under the protective eye of Bruno (Ron Perlman), declares her virginity to Stan, but with a devastating asterisk.

Stan will find his ticket out of the carnival circuit, and with Molly he’ll create a mind-reading act, performed for the upper crust in an elegant Buffalo nightclub. If the first half of the film does a bit too much explaining about the world of the carnies, the second, set in 1941, bursts into ultra-stylized noir (and art deco splendor). Blanchett’s Lilith enters the drama as a velvet-sheathed challenger to Stan’s act, her lips blood-red and gleaming, her double entendres dusky-voiced and occasionally on the razor’s edge of camp.

Cooper’s performance hits a deeper vein as Stan recognizes a kindred spirit. “You run a racket, same as me,” he tells Lilith. In no time they’re putting her confidential knowledge of the emotional lives of Buffalo’s elite to use in pricey private consultations for the likes of a judge’s wife (Mary Steenburgen) who’s mourning her soldier son. Stan knows he’s hit the jackpot when industrialist Ezra Grindle (an almost unrecognizable Richard Jenkins, in a compelling change of pace from his usually sympathetic roles) seeks his services. Grindle is a man so wealthy and hypocritical that he believes he can buy his redemption, and ultimately represents everything that Stan hates.

The fluent camerawork by Dan Laustsen and the designs of Tamara Deverell and Luis Sequeira create two vivid worlds, beginning with the dust and smoke of the carnival midway, with its theatrical outfits and the lights of the Ferris wheel against a middle-of-nowhere night sky. The film’s vision of snowy Buffalo, with its imposing brick edifices, is a refreshingly unfamiliar movie setting, and one that del Toro uses eloquently to convey a sense of municipal power and wealth — and of a world closing in on Stanton Carlisle precisely when he believes he has it in the palm of his hand. The interiors Deverell and her team created for this portion of the film are exquisite, notably the lush jade tones of Stan and Molly’s hotel suite and the jaw-dropping geometry of Lilith’s office, with its burnished wood paneling, a room inspired by the Weil-Worgelt Study.

Sequeira’s costumes range from the threadbare to the outré to the elegant, and by the time we find Stan in bespoke suits and smoking jackets, he has forsaken the carny code, with its sense of family and personal integrity. In Mara’s lovely and understated performance, we know that Molly doesn’t lose sight of these values.

Part of the power of Gresham’s story, and of del Toro’s film (and Edmund Goulding’s in 1947), is the recognition that shtick and showbiz trickery don’t preclude real spiritual connection. Zeena’s tarot card readings, for one, tap into Stan’s fate with an uncanny clarity (and Collette’s strong, self-knowing performance deepens that clarity). Back on the midway, Stan showed an impressive talent for reading people, but in the big city he’s been blinded by the light of his own success — not to mention the glare from Lilith’s mirthless smile.

Stan is an unlikable character, and one who’s offered no redemption in this telling, whose ending is truer to the source material than the Tyrone Power movie was (it was saddled with an obviously tacked-on note of hope, imposed by the studio). If we ever root for Stan, it’s only in moments when he’s set against Lilith’s ice-queen evil. Cooper never plays for audience sympathy, making the film’s final moments all the more raw and powerful.

The screenplay can at times be too literal, but Nathan Johnson’s score never fails, creating a potent fusion of the majestic and the uneasy, and encapsulating the dueling impulses in del Toro’s vision. With a semi-playful nod to the 1945 film Detour and more than a few rain-drenched streets, Nightmare Alley pays tribute to noir. But it’s also its own dark snow globe, luminous and finely faceted, and one of del Toro’s most fluent features.

The Hollywood Reporter

Nightmare Alley Reactions

“Right next to him[Bradley Cooper] is two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett, shepherding grace and a hypnotic trance that has the viewer hanging on every single word she releases. With another impressive turn in Adam McKay “Don’t Look Up,” she’s another contender in what is easily our strongest field of supporting actress contenders in the last 30 years.” — Clayton Davis (Variety)

Nightmare Alley Behind the Scenes and Production Notes
Posted on
Dec 1, 2021

Nightmare Alley Behind the Scenes and Production Notes

Hello, Cate Blanchett fans!

They released a behind the scene look for Nightmare Alley with new footages and interview from some of the cast and crew. Final production notes has also been released and we narrowed it down to topics where Cate and Lilith Ritter is mentioned. Read below.

Screencaptures

Production Notes on Nightmare Alley

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

“I was very interested in a story about destiny and humanity. Stanton Carlisle is a man who is given all the
elements to change his life. He has people who believe in him, who love him and trust him. Yet his drive
and his own hubris are so strong that they turn him away from that.” – Guillermo del Toro

With Nightmare Alley, visionary storyteller Guillermo del Toro journeys into the most arrestingly dark, sweeping and realistic world – the cinematic world of film noir. The film moves from the inner circle of a 1930s traveling carnival, a realm of shocks and wonders, to the halls of wealth and power where seduction and treachery reside. At its core lies a man who sells his soul to the art of the con. This is Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper), a drifting hustler who transforms himself into a dazzling showman and manipulator so masterful he comes to believe he can outwit fate. As Stanton makes his delirious rise, del Toro tracks a reckless American Dream running off the rails.

Del Toro’s film is based on William Lindsay Gresham’s fatalistic novel published in 1946 about a charismatic huckster consumed by uncontrolled ambition. Naturally drawn to the macabre and profoundly human world of carnival sideshows, del Toro saw Gresham’s novel as autobiographical and wanted to explore the murky lines between illusion and reality, desperation and control, success, and tragedy. He saw it as a cautionary tale about the dark side of American capitalism.

“Nightmare Alley departs from the fantastical elements Guillermo is known for creating,” adds del Toro’s frequent collaborator, producer J. Miles Dale. “But he brings to this new territory all his storytelling skills and design prowess. Ultimately, he tells the story of a man hoisted onto his own karma. One of the film’s most powerful themes is that no man can outrun himself.”

Within Nightmare Alley, there are seething layers of corruption, vice, lust, betrayal, and cosmic absurdity that build as Stanton learns to cynically prey on the human need to believe in something outside themselves and our world. Del Toro avoids the trademark visual aspects of noir, keeping the story speeding forwards, as Stanton’s life becomes a harrowing circle. Says del Toro, “I wanted to render a classic story in a very alive and contemporary way. I wanted people to feel they are watching a story pertinent to our world.”

Indeed, in its visceral realism, the film takes on the urgency of a moral fable—a of fate’s bill coming due, structured to end with a bang. “When an audience is invested in the story of a person’s rise, their greatest fear is the fall and that fall can be very emotionally strong,” says del Toro. Cate Blanchett, who brings a mix of strength and smoldering heat as the film’s reverse femme fatale—the brilliant, avenging psychoanalyst Dr. Lilith Ritter—was drawn to those emotions. She sees the story as a cautionary tale, one as class conscious as it is attuned to psychological demons, and one very much about how contempt and dread can obliterate all, even love.

“Nightmare Alley is about fear, about greed, and it’s about manipulation. It has all the dark underpinnings of what seems to be a very polite society. The world of the carnival might have some trickery and deceit, but it has the beating heart of a true community. It is the high society in this film that is far more threatening and terrifying,” adds Blanchett.

The ambitious shoot began in early 2020 with an all-star ensemble led by Cooper, Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn.

THE CHARACTERS
“There are only two stories that are worth telling in any form: a character that wins everything and a character that loses everything.” – Guillermo del Toro

CATE BLANCHETT as DOCTOR LILITH RITTER

Cate Blanchett, a two-time Academy Award® winner and among the most wide-ranging of contemporary actors, has played multiple real-life icons–Katharine Hepburn, Queen Elizabeth, even Bob Dylan. She has starred in Carol, Blue Jasmine, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Notes on a Scandal, I’m Not There, and The Aviator, among many others.

In Nightmare Alley, Blanchett pulls off a sleight of hand, channeling a classical, “Golden Age of Hollywood” energy as the film’s frostily seductive femme fatale and then turning that trope on its head. Blanchett’s Dr. Lilith Ritter is a sharp-as-nails Freudian psychoanalyst who sizes up Stanton quickly as a broken psyche beneath his suave act, but also as a very dangerous man she has the game to outmaneuver and take down for good.

“Stanton and Lilith’s clash is epic,” says del Toro. Adds Dale, “Lilith has her own dark past that she’s trying to avenge and she’s very smart. It was really like a battle of the titans watching Cate and Bradley working together as two equally brilliant manipulators.”

Blanchett sees Lilith as the last in the continuum of women who each make their mark on Stanton. “Nightmare Alley is a trip into a dark night of the soul. But in that darkness, there are three beacons of truth in three different women he meets – Molly, Zeena, and Lilith,” she observes.

She wanted to play up Lilith as an enigma, one Stanton can’t solve, despite his studies of human nature. “Both Guillermo and I wanted Lilith to be unknowable and mysterious. At the same time, Guillermo was looking for those little perforations where you might see through Lilith’s many layers to what lies beneath – both physically and psychologically.” That opened a lot of possibilities. “The process of playing Lilith was that every day we’d discover a new, deep, frightening secret,” Blanchett says. “There’s a lot of damage behind what seems to be a calm pristine exterior.”

Like Cooper, Blanchett started at the root level of Lilith’s voice, the voice that pokes into Stanton’s dark corners as he lies on her couch. “I wanted it to be a voice that could go inside his brain. Like a demonic Jiminy Cricket, a noir Jiminy Cricket,” she muses.

Blanchett notes that the fascination between Dr. Ritter and Stanton is not only sexual, though the chemical attraction is palpable. There is also a sense of recognition. “She’s a lone wolf and that’s where she and Stan connect. They are both running from the past, and they can see a similarity between them.”

She continues, “Lilith is also someone who’s interested in both the practical and mystical sides of psychoanalysis, so that’s part of why Stanton intrigues her. She’s trying to work out what makes him tick as she’s a bit of a shaman herself. Their entire relationship takes place in her office, so we thought about that set as being not just a physical space but a psychological space.”

Passion and vengeance are among the unpredictable emotions that arise in that space. “In a way, Lilith’s office is where Stan is finally vulnerable. There are a lot of destructive urges in Stan that have a parallel in Lilith. It’s a manipulative, deceitful dance between them…and these things rarely end well.”

Working with del Toro for the first time, Blanchett found his openness enlivening. “The wonderful thing about working with Guillermo is, as he says, that he likes being right, but he loves being wrong. He’s really alive to the suggestions that actors make, and it’s quite an exciting way to work. We were always going for that extra level of detail. And the conversations I had with Guillermo kept getting deeper and deeper, like a constant investigation.”

SCREENPLAY: ADAPTING A NIGHTMARE

In 2010, the novel was seen anew as a pinnacle of mid-Century noir, among the most entertaining, hard-bitten reflections of a modern society. Writing in the Washington Post that year, the critic Michael Dirda said, “Gresham’s book chronicles a truly horrific descent into the abyss. Yet it’s more than just a steamy noir classic. As a portrait of the human condition, Nightmare Alley is a creepy, all-too-harrowing masterpiece.”

In their adaptation, Morgan and Del Toro also bring the women’s stories to the fore, and we follow Stanton’s arc as he becomes entangled with each one. Says del Toro, “Thematically, I’m very interested in exploring the genre from a different point of view. Instead of a femme fatale, I have three very strong female figures and an homme fatale.” The savvy mentalist Zeena (Toni Collette) relishes the physical passion she finds with Stanton and opens his worldview on how to operate in America. The disarming ingénue Molly (Rooney Mara) falls hard for his deceptive, aspirational optimism. And the big city psychoanalyst Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett), herself a survivor of physical and psychic damage, sees through Stanton and sets out to manipulate the manipulator in a bid for self-claimed justice. Each helps Stanton harness his skills, yet they each watch him choose the most insidious path at every fork in the road.

LOCATION: STANTON IN THE CITY

The centerpiece design of the second half of the film is the office of Dr. Lilith Ritter where Stanton hatches his most elaborate illusion and starts to unravel. Here, Deverell looked to another design stunner of the late 1920s: the so-called “Weil-Worgelt study,” a famous room interior designed by the New York office of the Parisian decorating firm Alavoine for an elite client.

Featuring veneers of palisander and olive wood and large, abstract lacquer panels in the Art Deco style, Deverell could see Dr. Ritter feeling at home in this kind of luxe elegance where she can remain detached from her patients’ traumas.

“We mostly see Lilith in her office, so it had to feel like the setting of a very powerful woman, a woman smarter, more beautiful, and more ruthless even than Stan,” Deverell explains. “The office is full of warmth and sheen and its geometric design exemplifies Lilith’s strength, while the use of arches and curves exemplify her female power.”

The creation of the final office set involved a lot of back-and-forth conversations with del Toro, which paid off. Just as Gresham had brought psychological references into his novel, Deverell was thinking in terms of Jungian symbols. “The patterns in the wood were meant to create a kind of disturbing Rorschach blot to Lilith’s persona,” she notes.

Blanchett felt transported by those kinds of nuances. “When I first walked into Lilith’s office I thought, this room is a character in itself. The way the door slid, the look of the desk, the ornamentation, the way the recording devices were hidden, the color of the couch, it all helps to build the character,” she says.

DRESSING NIGHTMARE ALLEY: THE COSTUMES

He [Luis Sequeira] went even further into high fashion with Cate Blanchett’s sumptuous pantsuits and gowns—crafted in rich shades of green, plum, and black, and modeled after such movie icons as Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford. One of his favorite designs in the film is Dr. Lilith Ritter’s velvet moth dress with its bold copper applique. “When do you ever get the chance to do 1940s haute couture evening wear? Not often,”

Sequeira muses. “And being able to dress Cate Blanchett in one’s lifetime is an incredible honor.” Sequeira continues: “Dr. Ritter is elegant and affluent, so I was looking for beautiful lines and luxurious details, but I wanted her clothing to be real, not costumey. I wanted her to feel timeless.”

Blanchett found Sequeira’s work an inspiration to her own. “We had really creative conversations,” she says. “A lot came out of the dialogue we had about how Lilith should look.”

MUSIC: COMPOSING THE SCORE

For Nightmare Alley, [Nathan] Johnson’s score is innovative and varied, yet traditional. For the first half of the film at the carnival, it sets the mood, at moments hopeful, at others foreboding. In the second half in the city, it follows along like a traditional film of that period, bending and lifting to the different beats of the film, dancing a dark duet between Lilith and Stanton as he spirals closer to his inevitable fate.

SOUND: DESIGNING THE TENOR

“Guillermo is very tuned into sound,” commented [Nathan] Robitaille. “From every syllable, breath, and word tonality right through every sound design layer, BG element, volume and placement in the room. It was important to him to keep a remote skeleton crew going for a few weeks to finalize the sound work we had started in the big city via video conferencing.”

When production started back up, recordings from set – such as carnival crowds, rides, bumper cars, games, tent flaps, all the period vehicles etc. – were all used to build a world full of life and texture with an open-air feel.

“Once we cut to the big city everything on screen sounds premium and expensive,” added Robitaille. From the singing crystal cocktail glasses in Lilith’s office to rich textiles and marble foley surfaces.

Every door has a suction seal, like an airlock, isolating from the world outside. “All of these elements combine to put the audience in a reality where the walls are closing in so gradually that we don’t realize what kind of trouble we’re in until it’s too late,” he concludes.

Source: Nightmare Alley

Nightmare Alley to premiere at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures; & and a new Nightmare Alley Book
Posted on
Oct 8, 2021

Nightmare Alley to premiere at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures; & and a new Nightmare Alley Book

Hi, blanchetters!

We are nearing the world premiere for Nightmare Alley but unfortunately we don’t have official date yet. Also new book on Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley is being released and you can check the details below.

Nightmare Alley to premiere at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

According to Variety, Nightmare Alley will premiere at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures located on the LACMA campus in Los Angeles

The museum is quickly becoming the hottest event space in the city. WIF will hold its annual awards gala there next week (October 6th 2021) followed by the premieres of “House of Gucci,” Ridley Scott’s drama starring Lady Gaga, and Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley.”

Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley: The Rise and Fall of Stanton Carlisle

From acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro comes the stunning psychological thriller Nightmare Alley. Taking readers on a captivating journey through the making of the highly anticipated film, The Art and Making of Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley is filled with incisive commentary from the director and his creative team.

The book will be released on December 7th 2021 and is now available for pre-order at Insight Edition

Join Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro for an intimate exploration of his darkly electrifying psychological thriller Nightmare Alley.

Comprehensive and insightful, Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley: The Rise and Fall of Stanton Carlisle, is the ultimate companion to the master director’s latest work.

• DISCOVER A RIVETING STORY: Inspired by William Lindsay Gresham’s cult 1947 novel, Nightmare Alley stars Bradley Cooper as Stanton “Stan” Carlisle, a talented but troubled drifter who takes up with a traveling carnival. Ingratiating himself with its troupe of misfits, Stan swindles his way to fortune and fame, but when he meets psychiatrist Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett), his greed and duplicity will put him on the path to self-destruction. Also starring Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, and Rooney Mara, Nightmare Alley is del Toro’s most ambitious film to date, an engrossing yet disturbing journey into the psyche of a tragic swindler whose own nature seals his fate.

• EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS: This deluxe volume delves into the creation of all aspects of the film through extensive interviews with del Toro and his cast and crew, including writer Kim Morgan, with whom he collaborated closely on the script.

• NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN CONCEPT ART AND PHOTOS: This incisive commentary is illustrated with a broad range of striking visuals from the production—including concept art and unit photography—that illuminate the film’s two distinct worlds: the ramshackle life of the traveling carnival and the sophisticated art deco trappings of 1940s Buffalo, New York.

• INSIGHTS FROM DEL TORO HIMSELF: Tracing the arc of a production that faced multiple challenges, not least of all the onset of a pandemic that threatened to derail shooting, del Toro and his team give deep insights into the complex psychology of the film’s protagonists and the process of bringing them to life on set

Source: Variety

First trailer for Nightmare Alley; Eli Roth’s History of Horror Season 3 Appearance
Posted on
Sep 16, 2021

First trailer for Nightmare Alley; Eli Roth’s History of Horror Season 3 Appearance

Hi, dear blanchetters!

The long-awaited trailer of Nightmare Alley has been released with the movie poster! Cate will also appear in the season 3 of Eli Roth’s History of Horror which will premiere in October 2021. The series will feature Sam Raimi’s The Gift which Cate starred in. Lastly, they have recently made Vogue Australia’s June/July 2020 cover, where Cate graced the cover, available in print. Check the details about it below.

Nightmare Alley trailer and poster

Screencaptures

Cate Blanchett to appear in Eli Roth’s History of Horror Season 3

The third season of Eli Roth’s History of Horror will return to AMC on Friday, October 1 at 10 pm ET/9c. The premiere episode will be available early on Saturday, September 25 on AMC+. The remaining episodes will be available to AMC+ subscribers on the same day they premiere on air. The upcoming season of Eli Roth’s History of Horror continues to explore the fun and the fear of scary films – both timeless classics and wildly frightening films that flew under the radar. This season will tackle the topics of “Sequels (That Don’t Suck),” “Infections,” “Psychics,” “Apocalyptic Horror,” “Holiday Horror,” and “Mad Scientists.”

Master of Horror Eli Roth, who also executive produces the series, returns as host with an all-star lineup of interviewees including (in alphabetical order) Cate Blanchett, Margaret Cho, Jeffrey Combs, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Lex Scott Davis, Robert Englund, Vanessa Hudgens, Elliott Knight, David Koechner, Christopher Landon, Meat Loaf, Greg Nicotero, Jonah Ray, Giovanni Ribisi, Jessica Rothe, Madeleine Stowe, Quentin Tarantino, Jennifer Tilly, Edgar Wright, Rob Zombie, and many others.

Episode 303 – “Physics” – Premieres Friday, October 15 at 10 pm ET/9c on AMC and AMC+

What’s the downside of having psychic powers? The idea of being able to read minds or manipulate objects without moving a muscle is an attractive fantasy. But what if those powers showed you things you wished you hadn’t seen? What if people wanted to exploit your gift for their own sinister ends? Worse than that: what if someone with psychic abilities turned their powers against you?

Movies about psychics play on the ego of our species – humans rose to the top thanks to their large, multilayered brains – but they also exploit our insecurities. We understand little about cognition and the nature of free will, and we know we’re just a brain tumor away from radical personality shifts and psychotic behavior. The fear of psychic powers gone wrong is the fear of our own turbulent minds.

This episode features a wide range of psychic films made by superstar creators, including David Cronenberg’s Scanners and The Dead Zone, Mike Flanagan’s thrilling adaptation of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, Brian DePalma’s The Fury, Sam Raimi’s The Gift, Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners and Tim Burton’s horror/comedy masterpiece Beetlejuice.

Vogue Australia’s June/July 2020 cover with Cate Blanchett now on print

Fiona Lowry is an Archibald Prize-winning artist and has painted Blanchett to create an image that spoke about the moment in time for both artists. Lowry explored the option of painting her work mid-Covid, and her initial thoughts about anxiety about the future, constant cleaning of ourselves and our homes, to becoming an opportunity for reflection and personal change. ‘My initial thought was to see Cate coming out of the water, reflecting an idea of cleansing and renewal. But after we emailed back and forth about what we were experiencing felt, it became about stillness and the idea of solitude and how it can make us reflect. In retrospect it was such a fleeting moment, and the chaos was still swirling around us, but it was a moment I’m sure we will always remember.’

Cate was photographed by her husband, Andrew Upton, at their home in the UK and Fiona describes how ‘I imagined Cate wearing a Vampire’s Wife dress and wonderfully, designer Susie Cave sent some dresses to use for the shoot. Her dresses are so dreamy and nostalgic, and I had read somewhere that she described the dresses as having a ‘subversive mystery’. I also like my paintings to sit within that mystery and often what painting can do is try to unravel or understand the structure of the underlying dream or mystery that we are embedded in.”

Lowry’s paintings are done with acrylic spray paint and have an ethereal and soft dreamy effect. Cate has described the work as wonderful, matching the serenity of her expression.

If you would like to purchase, you can go to FINEPRINT.

Source: Bleeding Cool