Details from IMDB:
The Shape of Water (2017)
At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.
Guillermo del Toro is one of those directors who has shown the ability to do a great variety of work (both with writing and directing). I can’t say I’ve see all his movies but I’m fan. From doing screenplays of The Hobbit (all 3 movies), Hellboy, Pacific Rim and even creating the show “The Strain” (which I only watched the first 2 seasons, just too much good TV for anyone to watch). I had heard wonderful things about this movie (and it’s nominated for 13 Oscars!), not just the story but the acting, special effects and even the music. So we went last weekend and I’m glad I did.
The movie has some good twists and turns, so I won’t spoil anything. I’ll say it is a modern twist (by modern its set in the late 60’s) on Creature from the Black Lagoon (which I’ll admit I never saw) and it brings you into this world right away. The characters are fascinating and well drawn, wonderfully acted and while you love Elisa (played by Sally Hawkins) she does have some shocking moments and does surprising things. I honestly wish I hadn’t read a review of this movie, it did spoil one important detail that I won’t do here.
Michael Shannon is always great and this movie is no exception. His character is really despicable and yet you feel compelled to watch, he has such a strong presence on the screen you have to see what he does next. I love how this film is filled with movie and TV nostalgia. Great music from the 50s and 60s (maybe 40s, not completely sure) and fully realized world. He manages to bring in racism which was (and sadly still is) present in the US and show the insanely sexist ideas present then as well. Other ideas on cruelty, compassion, love, charity and acceptance are also wonderfully explored.
Also worth mentioning is Richard Jenkins, he always takes on supporting roles and is always great. I’ve been watching him since his Six Feet Under days (which he was also excellent in). Finally I’d be remiss also not mentioning Octaiva Spencer and Doug Jones (whom I was lucky enough to see at a convention a few years ago), the both continue to impress, especially Jones as he has not one word of spoken dialogue here but still conveys so much.
I could go on and on. This movie is unique and certainly not for everyone. I’d love to see it win a ton of award but I’m not sure if it will get Best Picture. Certainly not for children, sex, violence, blood and coarse language, certainly ages 17+. I loved it, though I’ll admit some scenes are really odd and I think a little unnecessary. Still I give it a solid 8.5 out of 10 and a big recommendation. If this is still playing near you do yourself a favor and see it (maybe not with your significant other though, my wife didn’t like it).