shape of water film poster – How The Shape Of Water’s Visual Effects Turned A Merman Into A Romantic Lead

She then said, ‘You’re not going to believe this,” del Toro recalls, picking up the thread. An extraordinary Sally Hawkins is Elisa, an orphan discovered by the banks of a river, her neck scarred from the removal of her larynx as a child.

shape of water film poster – The Shape Of Water Movie Review

shape of water movieThe Shape of Water is a story that only a screenwriter and director with a well-developed and totally idiosyncratic imagination could create. Bigotry and meanness flow through every moment like an underground stream, but kindness is always possible, and so is beauty. The Shape of Water” is made of vivid colors and deep shadows; it’s as gaudy as a musical (and briefly turns into one), bright as a cartoon and murky as a film noir. (The cinematographer is Dan Laustsen. The score is by Alexandre Desplat.) Its busy plot moves swiftly — the presence of Russian spies never hurts, especially when one is played by Michael Stuhlbarg — except when Mr. del Toro lingers over a moment of tenderness, a delicate joke or an eruption of grace.

In the process of establishing the romance between Elisa and the Amphibian Man, the film treats itself lightheartedly without overly concerning itself with the ridiculous nature of their relationship. Instead of attempting to romanticize the interspecies relationship, del Toro uses the premise of the movie to highlight a more humanlike love story between Elisa and the Amphibian Man.

Elisa’s warm nature is thrown into relief by the gloominess of her workplace. The institute, defined by concrete floors and giant, ugly machines, is a cross between an ogre’s dungeon and a mad scientist’s lab, and sure enough, both a monster and a madman soon enter the story. The madman is Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon), the new overseer of the institute, whom del Toro and Taylor depict as a bully from the start. Strickland displays his bigotry when he introduces himself to Elisa and a black coworker, Zelda (Octavia Spencer); since Elisa can’t speak, he presumes that she can’t understand what he’s talking about. He’s humorless, stern, and intimidating—a personification of repressive values.

Sally Hawkins gives a career-best performance with her sly, sensual, vulnerable portrayal of Elisa, a mute woman employed as a cleaner in a military research facility in Baltimore. The date would appear to be 1963 – one character talks about the battle of Pusan of 1950 being 13 years ago, and Kennedy’s voice is audible on the radio at one stage. It is the beginning of the space race and the cold war, with bigotry and conformism all around. The period detail is eerily rendered, but this is a knight’s-move away from the real world, more like 1963 Baltimore on a twin planet Earth on the other side of the galaxy.

While many elements of The Shape of Water” were lost on me, it is clear why it won Best Picture. There are so many subplots and unique parts of this film that just about every based was covered. Overall this movie was definitely an adventure and there’s something for everyone, so I recommend giving it a try. See it for yourself; you might finds it hits all the right notes for you.

In the same way the Brothers Grimm codified a millennium of European folklore on the page, del Toro draws from the well of the 20th century’s pre-eminent means of self-mythologising; those movies pregnant with fantasy and fear, permeating his work like the smell of toasted cocoa, which one character here describes as, Tragedy and delight, hand in hand.” This cross-pollination of genre is nothing short of remarkable. The blindsiding tonal shifts signal that we are clearly in the hands of a master.

While Del Toro dances on the border of camp, he never crosses the line and, in the process, revives interest in 1950s horror films and musicals. With Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Octavia Spencer, and Michael Shannon. Written by Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. Directed by Guillermo del Toro. A Fox Searchlight release. Rated R. 123 minutes.

Richard Jenkins is aces as Elisa’s closeted starving-artist neighbor. The same goes for Octavia Spencer as her loyal wisecracking co-worker. A gonzo Michael Shannon (is there any other kind?) smirks and snarls as the creature’s sadistic, cattle-prod-wielding jailer. And Michael Stuhlbarg does a lot with a little as the scientist who’s sympathetic to the misunderstood merman. But not as sympathetic as Elisa, who forms an unlikely intimacy with it. Hawkins, who was so good in Happy-Go-Lucky and Blue Jasmine, says more with her soulful eyes than she ever could with mere words.

We’ll talk about the casting (in the neighborhood of perfect) in a moment. First, the premise. Sally Hawkins is Elisa, the mute janitor who, we’re told, was rescued from a river as a foundling. She bears two deep scars on her neck, the ones rendering her speechless.

He set The Shape of Water in America in 1962, but he is really talking about today and what it feels like to be an outsider or part of a minority, who in story terms is represented by characters such as Hawkins’ silent Elisa and her fish-out-of-water lover; an artist and a black co-worker. On the surface, the US of the film oozes confidence and optimism. It is the US, says Del Toro, that people have in mind when you hear Make America Great Again”. It is, though, rotting from within.

Del Toro would spend two years sketching the designs for his amphibian monster, which would then take another year to execute. However, the film’s main locations would be designed around the monster, creating a backdrop in which the romantic fable was believable, but told in visual, lyrical way.



The film opens as we go through a home that appears to be underwater. We hear the voice of a man named Giles ( Richard Jenkins ) mention the story of a princess, the one she loved, and the monster that threatened to tear them apart.shape of water movie

But just when you think it’s mercifully about to end, there is mass violence, a lot of people are gunned down in pools of blood, and the dead Eliza sinks to bottom of what is presumably the Hudson River to swim away in the fins of Aqua Man like Esther Williams on Vicodin. The question raised by The Shape of Water: A fish may love a girl, but where will they live? Write to them in Atlantis. The critics float away on clouds of ecstasy, in more ways than one. You know what I say. One man’s ecstasy is another man’s baloney.

Will the Academy show its love by turning its nominations into gold? The outcome may be influenced by allegations of plagiarism (which emerged during the writing of this story) from the estate of Pulitzer-winning playwright Paul Zindel, which has drawn attention to similarities between the movie and the late writer’s 1969 play Let Me Hear You Whisper. Whether or not this proves damaging will be revealed on Oscars night on March 4.


After 18 years together, up to 175 shows per year, nearly 1,000 different setlists, six studio albums, and a litany of live releases, Greensky Bluegrass embodies more than just music for members Anders Beck dobro, Michael Arlen Bont banjo, Dave Bruzza guitar, Mike Devol upright bass, and Paul Hoffman Mandolin. Truthfully, it embodies an ironclad creative bond, familial brotherhood, and a lifelong commitment to fans.

The opening shots of Guillermo del Toro’s gorgeous romance-fantasy The Shape of Water show Eliza ( Sally Hawkins ) going about her morning routine — boiling eggs, bathing, brushing her shoes, visiting her neighbor Giles ( Richard Jenkins ) before work — in her dingy but charming apartment above the Orpheum movie theater. The camera pans down and across the theater’s marquee. It is 1960, and the theater is playing The Story of Ruth , Henry Koster’s biblical epic.

I flew over there on location scouting and we met again for the first time in twenty years. And it was just like we’d seen each other two days ago. So there was already a really strong relationship professionally, which was fantastic. But I think it’s more that we have the same feelings and same tastes about colors, camera movements, lighting… I think that’s more the reason that we’ve worked so well together, because we have exactly the same taste and ideas about how to shoot a movie. I think it’s just a way of lighting I love, don’t be afraid of the shadows, but don’t do it so dark that you can’t see anything. I think that’s one of the reasons he likes what I’m doing.

But Elisa’s life drastically changes when she discovers that the research facility where she works is performing questionable experiments on an aquatic but human-like creature (Doug Jones). How Del Toro and his team created a romantic world shaped by water, color and movies that was the perfect container for an amphibian love story.

Hawkins, her eyes alive with possibility, is the through-line in every scene. Ever-reliable, ever-welcome Richard Jenkins plays her commercial illustrator neighbor and friend Giles, a gay man pining for the younger man behind a nearby lunch counter, as well as for a more accepting time.

In my opinion, the 21st century has produced no finer movie than Pan’s Labyrinth , Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 masterpiece, which acts as a sister picture to his 2001 Spanish civil war ghost story, The Devil’s Backbone Like Del Toro’s first feature, Cronos (1993), these Spanish-language gems possessed a unique cinematic voice, the distant echo of which could still be heard even amid the thunderous roar of 2013’s Pacific Rim Now, with his awards-garlanded latest (co-scripted by Game of Thrones graduate Vanessa Taylor), Del Toro has conjured a boundary-crossing hybrid that is as adventurously personal as it is universal, a swooning romantic melodrama that reshapes the mythical themes of Beauty and the Beast with deliciously bestial bite.

Dan Laustsen, ASC: Our relationship goes all the way back to Mimic, and that was 20 years ago. That was Guillermo’s first American movie, and my second American movie, so both of us were really open, and not afraid of anything. We did Mimic, and that was a really bad movie, and a tough production to do because Miramax was giving Guillermo a very hard time. But we went through it and it was also really fun to do, because it was so dark and atmospheric, which we loved, and then we split up for like 20 years.

The lead character Elisa Esposito is a mute woman, who was an orphaned child that was found in a river with wounds on her neck and communicates through sign language. She works in a government laboratory as a cleaning lady. Her friends are her co-worker Zelda, a black woman who serves as an interpreter for Elisa, and her next-door neighbor Giles, a closeted gay man. Elisa discovers a mysterious creature in the facility and begins to bond with it. The creature is a mute humanoid amphibian that was captured in a river in South America by Strickland, who is in charge of the project to study it.

Categories Movies