In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape.
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
From master storyteller Guillermo del Toro comes THE SHAPE OF WATER, an otherworldly fable set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Doug Jones. Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
With the release of Maudie (2016) the same year, this marked the first time Sally Hawkins was the lead in two theatrical releases within the same year. In both films, she portrayed a woman with a disability. In Maudie (2016), her character suffers from a result of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and in The Shape of Water (2017), her character Is mute. See more »
Giles (Jenkins) is fumbling to undo his seat belt in a delivery van which did not have seat belts in that time period. See more »
Guillermo del Toro is back with this visually stunning and thoroughly entertaining adult fairy tale. While this movie does not quite live up to some of his previous films (i.e. "Pan's Labyrinth,") it is still a great film in its own right. When one begins to watch the film, the first thing that the viewer will notice is the luscious and stunning visuals. These aesthetic qualities are all the more superb and stunning when one takes a moment to realize that they were done with practical effects rather than CGI. As usual, the visionary style del Toro takes to envision his creature and sets is incredibly impressive. Alexandre Desplat's score, with its simplistic, unpretentious and almost low-key charm, is also thoroughly riveting.
The plot, which centers on a janitor's relationship with a creature kept in a research lab during the Cold War era in Baltimore, is entertaining throughout. The film is paced well, and never drags or feels tedious. The acting on display in the film is good as well, with a solid performance from Sally Hawkins in the lead role, a show-stealing supporting performance by Octavia Spencer, and a darkly powerful turn by Michael Shannon as a supervisor who serves as the film's sadistic villain. It is also important to note how the film is enhanced by its use of classic filmmaking tropes, which are managed well as to feel original rather than clichéd or too old-fashioned. They give the film a unique layer of depth to it that helps work hand-in-hand with its stylish aesthetic and unique mix of charm and darker themes. The only criticism I have of this film is the fact that there is a lack of individualization or characterization of film's supporting characters; these characters seem solely memorable based on a single personality trait. Otherwise, this is a skillfully made fantasy film and one that I would recommend very much. 8.5/10
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