Giving what many, including me, reckon was Guillermoro Del Tero’s masterpiece with Pan’s Labyrinth, he almost matches up here with The Shape Of Water. Set during the Cold War, it focuses on Sally Hawkins as a mute cleaner Elisa for a secret government laboratory, one day falling in love with a mysterious captured creature.
In the wrong hands, that could easily be cheesy. In Del Toro’s hands, the love story becomes really poetic, rarely ever losing sight of its integrity. Part of that also has Michael Shannon as the antagonist Colonel Richard Strickland, a family man facing pressure from his boss to study the creature for evil purposes, and the film naturally increases in emotion as things move along. Within everything, you also have Octavia Spencer in a wonderful turn as Elisa’s compassionate, supportive co-worker, Richard Jenkins as her homosexual neighbour and a struggling advertisement illustrator, etc.
I’ll leave it all here and say there’s good reason this film’s up for twelve Oscars. It has a romance everyone could presumably relate to, lovely visuals, you name it. Couldn’t go wrong with this film.