December 1, 2017
2 hours and 3 minutes (123 minutes)
Dr. Robert Hoffstetler
Lauren Lee Smith
1960's Ad Man
Shane Clinton Jarvis
Amphibian Man Dance Double
Elisa Dance Double
Bus Passenger #1
Wet Cinema Patron
African American Husband
African American Wife
Cody Ray Thompson
A deaf movie
By Jack Anderson
on May 4, 2019
NO INCITING MOMENT
The Shape of Water is having an excruciatingly slow pace. It takes exactly twenty minutes before understand what this film is about, when the creature is hitting someone. But actually, even there, this is not really the inciting moment, but merely a step forward. And actually, there is no inciting moment whatsoever. This is such a boring film.
Since the lead character of the film is deaf, you'd normally have to compensate for that. But there is no special storytelling way to compensate for that. She just does not talk, and that's it.
Overall, the film itself is actually deaf. It doesn't say anything.
GREEN, GREEN AND THEN MORE GREEN
The film is green, green and then even greener. This is so green that my soul tried to vomit.
A DEAF AMELIE POULAIN
Also, from the first minutes of the film, just after the opening scene underwater, I couldn't stop thinking about the film Amélie (Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain) from Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The cinematography, colors and themes are so similar that I could also say that this film just stole it, but I won't go there.
At no point in the film is there any tension being built whatsoever. It feels like a bad TV series with less emotions.
Also, the creature is so creepy that I couldn't stand watching it. I felt repelled, which was probably the goal of the film, but it succeeded way too much. I just wanted to look away from the screen each time the creature was on it.
This shows why, at times, I will never understand the Academy, who gave the Oscar for best picture to this film, while Dunkirk was also a nominee.
I give it 2 out of 10. Very bad. Technically okay, but lacking emotions and a real story.
Not just a love letter to the Creature from the Black Lagoon, but to cinema itself. Del Toro's _The Shape of Water_ is the "Who is the real monster?" question taken to the nth degree, with some some fascinating side-concepts that are explored just enough to be worthwhile. At the end of the day _The Shape of Water_, at its most stripped back, is a movie about fucking a fish. But it's the kind of movie about fucking a fish that should also probably win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
_Final rating:★★★½ - I really liked it. Would strongly recommend you give it your time._
GDT's first truly great flick. The R-Rated Family Movie schtick always came off as silly or had a story too dull to carry its own weight. Characters and morality are two dimensional; the world functions via cartoon logic. But the love story here is precious. Could be argued it's an apologist film for zoophilia, considering the amphibian shows little intelligence beyond that of a dog.
Bend me, shape me, anyway you want me!
Guillermo del Toro directs and co-writes with Vanessa Taylor what would turn out to be the Best Picture Academy Award Winner for 2017. A much loved film that's not without dissention in certain quarters, it's a picture that warrants dissention but it should be noted that just because someone doesn't like it, that doesn't make it a bad film. I'm certainly in the camp that finds it over praised, even annoyingly disappointing, whilst appreciating many of the facets within its production.
Story in simple terms is a Beauty and the Beast like fable where Sally Hawkins' mute cleaning lady Elisa Esposito falls in love with a captured Amphibian Man. Amphibian Man is known by the government types as The Asset, and as the Cold War rises and 60s paranoia takes a hold, the American big wigs want to vivisect the special species to learn from it. Elisa, after courting "The Asset", enlists the help of close friends and plots to free the creature from its captivity in the underground medical bunker labyrinth place.
Now as simple as that sounds, there is more to it than that, del Toro and Taylor whilst enveloping the pic in a fantasy realm feel, ensure messages are thrust hard at the viewers. Be it the racial disharmony, the quest for different walks of life finding love with each other, the cry for humans to stop being bad and killing things because they don't understand them, torture is evil and etc etc. It's all right there in your face and we get it. So plot maybe simple but for sure there's a lot being said in the narrative.
Yet as great as it looks, and it's superbly acted by Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer, it just to me loses its way come the mid-point, getting daft and even getting a little icky into the bargain. I have no problem with improbabilities and outrageous contrivances here, this is del Toro painting one of his fantastical worlds - only on Earth in the early 60s! But the pay off is poor, hinging on a twist that's not only ridiculous, but insulting as well because otherwise the pic would be very troubling indeed. No art deco eye orgasms or vibrant characterisations can compensate for a film that runs out of steam.
That said, I was glad to have watched it, there's even a possibility I could return to it in the future - this is very good film making. But it's not a great film by any stretch of the imagination and not for the first time in the Academy's long history, many are baffled by their choice of Best Picture winner. 6/10
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