The Shape of Water (2017) – Encore Review


“[in sign language] If we do nothing, neither are we.” – Elisa

Number of Times Seen – 2 (9 Jan 2018 and 25 Feb 2018)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A mute cleaning woman working in a top secret government laboratory during the 1960’s starts a friendship with a captured amphibious creature.

My Take on it – This is such a great movie because it works on several levels all at once.

Guillermo Del Toro has created some really unique characters that are all very different yet all follow their hearts in whatever they choose to do.

Sometimes they have their own agendas for things, but ultimately, they still try and stay true to themselves along the way.

From a visual perspective, this film is spectacular and it is so wondrous to watch because of it.

Del Toro is able to create another modern day fairy tale that almost equals his Pans Labyrinth (2006)… almost.

Like in that film, he explores the search for a bright shining light in a world filled with darkness.

The cast here is great and I loved the way that almost all of the main characters are considered minorities (especially during the 60’s).

Sally Hawkins stands out among them all tho and is spectacular here because she gets to show us the moods, feelings, thoughts and wishes with needing to say a word; her entire performance is non-verbal.

This is yet another proof of how great an actress she is because she is able to show her characters emotions just by her body motions and actions without the need to say anything.

This is one of the best films of 2017 and it gets better on a rewatch.

I’m sure that every time that I will see this in future with give me even more insight into what this film is telling us because it is so profound.

As great as it is tho, it still isn’t a better film than Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), but I won’t be that upset if this film prevails at the Oscars because it too is a worthy Best Picture winner.

Can’t wait to see this one again.

Bottom Line – Such a great movie that works on so many levels. The characters are all quite unique and each follows their heart despite having their own agendas. This film is nearly perfect from a visual standpoint and it truly is wondrous to look at.  Del Toro has created another modern day fairy tale that mirrors the evils that have occurred in the past while trying to find a bright shining light among the darkness of it all. The cast is spectacular and Hawkins does a superb job in the lead despite never needing to say a word. This is proof of how great an actress she is because we can feel her emotions just by her body movements and actions and there is no need for her to communicate verbally for this.  The way that this film uses minority characters to tell its story also says so much about what was perceived as normal during the Cold War Era while still allowing such characters to be the heroes of this story.  One of the best films of 2017 which gets better during each rewatch. Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  Guillermo Del Toro wrote lengthy backstories for each of the major characters, some of them allegedly running over 40 pages long. After casting the roles, he offered them to the actors and said they could choose to utilize or ignore the backstories for their own character. The actors responded differently, with Richard Jenkins saying he ignored the backstory, stating “the only thing that matters is what happens on screen”, while Michael Stuhlbarg said he read the backstory voraciously and found it helpful in his performance. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy  (9/10) (no change from original review)

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8 thoughts on “The Shape of Water (2017) – Encore Review

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