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The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water on IMDb

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 Written by
Vanessa Taylor Screenplay
Guillermo del Toro Screenplay
Guillermo del Toro Story

 Directed by
Guillermo del Toro


 Release Date
December 1, 2017

2 hours and 3 minutes (123 minutes)

Sally Hawkins
  Elisa Esposito
Doug Jones
  The Asset
Michael Shannon
  Richard Strickland
Richard Jenkins
Octavia Spencer
  Zelda Fuller
Michael Stuhlbarg
  Dr. Robert Hoffstetler
David Hewlett
Nick Searcy
  General Hoyt
Stewart Arnott
Nigel Bennett
Lauren Lee Smith
  Elaine Strickland
Martin Roach
  Brewster Fuller
Allegra Fulton
John Kapelos
  Mr. Arzounian
Morgan Kelly
  Pie Guy
Wendy Lyon
Madison Ferguson
  Tammy Strickland
Jayden Greig
  Timmy Strickland
Deney Forrest
Brandon McKnight
Dru Viergever
  Military Policeman
Marvin Kaye
  Burly Russian
Jim Pagiamtzis
  1960's Ad Man
Alexey Pankratov
  Soviet violinist
Shane Clinton Jarvis
  Military Police
Evgeny Akimov
  Restaurant Musician
Dave Reachill
Matthew Mease
  Military Police
Amanda Smith
  Mrs. Peabody
Maxine Grossman
  Bus Passenger
Edward Tracz
  Amphibian Man Dance Double
Shaila D'Onofrio
  Elisa Dance Double
Vanessa Oude-Reimerink
  Russian Band
Sergey Nikonov
  Russian Band
Jonelle Gunderson
  Bus Passenger #1
Cylde Whitham
  Wet Cinema Patron
Dan Lett
  Cadillac Salesman
Danny Waugh
  African American Husband
Karen Glave
  African American Wife
Diego Fuentes
Cody Ray Thompson

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A deaf movie
By Jack Anderson on May 4, 2019

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.

The film is green, green and then even greener. This is so green that my soul tried to vomit.

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.

John Chard

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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