THE SHAPE OF WATER
Review: Set against the backdrop of the Cold War era America, 1962. A mute woman working in a research facility develops a relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Actors: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones, David Hewlett, Nick Searcy, Stewart Arnott, Nigel Bennett, Lauren Lee Smith, Martin Roach, Allegra Fulton, John Kapelos and Morgan Kelly
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Romance and Sci-Fi
The start of the film is very good, with a voice-over which starts off by saying “a long time ago” etc. It gets you right into the film and off to a good start. Visually, this is a very beautiful and stunning film. They went to a lot of effort with the production design, which I thought was magnificent, with exceptional cinematography. It has a well chosen cast especially Sally Hawkins whose role could have been made for her. In my opinion, they couldn’t have done this film without her. Also Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones work really well together. Apparently he spent three hours every day getting into the costume. What really comes across is just how much Sally Hawkins’ character cares for the creature. Octavia Spencer and Michael Shannon both give terrific performances in their roles. Richard Jenkins’ character was originally written for Ian McKellen. This has got to be director Guillermo del Toro’s best film so far. I really enjoyed the musical score, which was composed by Alexandre Desplat, who was got a huge amount of film scores to his name, including The Queen, The King’s Speech and Suffragettes. Even though I knew quite a bit about this film beforehand, nothing still prepared me for what to fully expect. There were still lots of shocks and surprises. At one point in the film I really gasped (embarrassing as I was the only one). At times it did remind me of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Many critics have compared this to Beauty and the Beast. Peter Bradshaw stated that it is a “fable where both get to be beautiful and neither has to be beastly”. You could also say that this has silent pathos of Keaton and Chaplin. I came out of the screening emotionally moved by the whole film. At the Bafta awards in 2018 this won three Awards. They were for the Best Director (Guillermo Del Toro), Best Original Music and also Best Production Design. At the Academy Awards in 2018 this won four Oscars. They were for Best Film, Best Director (Guillermo Del Toro), Best Production Design and Best Original Score.
THE SHAPE OF WATER