The Shape Of Water (2017)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  

/USA, 2017.  , , .  Story by Guillermo del Toro, Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Guillermo del Toro.  Music by .   Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 2017AFI Awards 2017Boston Film Critics Awards 2017. Dorian Awards 2017.  Golden Globe Awards 2017Las Vegas Film Critics Awards 2017. National Society of Film Critics Awards 2017.  North Carolina Film Critics Awards 2017Online Film Critics Awards 2017.  Philadelphia Film Critics 2017Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2017.   Screen Actors Guild Awards 2017.  Toronto International Film Festival 2017Venice Film Festival 2017.

Sally Hawkins is brilliant as a mute woman who works as cleaning staff at a research facility in 1950s Baltimore, her life occupied by her friendship with co-worker (stealing scenes with her usual charisma) and next door neighbour , but not exactly fulfilled by the kind of passionate connection that would really make her feel complete.  When a strange package is delivered to her workplace accompanied by a very angry , she discovers that it contains a creature from a South American blue lagoon who she decides is as much a misunderstood outsider as she is.  Beginning with giving him boiled eggs and resulting in her developing a passionate friendship for this strange creature, Hawkins must step in and save her friend when he is threatened by gruesome experiments planned by the American scientists; she doesn’t even know that there are also Russian spies hidden in plain sight waiting to use him for their own devices as well.  Shot to look like the paranoid Cold War science fiction adventures that thrilled children of the 1950s, this dazzling film represents Guillermo del Toro at the top of his game, combining elements of fantasy, thriller and romance with incredible skill, the screenplay perfectly smoothed out to provide a satisfying resolution to all the narrative strands it introduces.  A movie that combines a creature-feature star, the joys of bathtub masturbation, the gory sight of severed fingers and a sentimental love of old musicals sounds like a mess, but don’t be surprised if the story of interspecial love also brings a tear to your eye.  Shannon provides delicious intensity in the kind of role he is born to play, and thanks to the rock solid direction his heavy presence not derail the gentleness of the narrative at the film’s core, but instead provides worthy stakes that make the love story that much more urgent.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s