The Shape of Water (2017)
Critic Consensus: The Shape of Water finds Guillermo del Toro at his visually distinctive best -- and matched by an emotionally absorbing story brought to life by a stellar Sally Hawkins performance.
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Critic Reviews for The Shape of Water
The movie's worldview is as easy to like as the protagonist and her friends, but del Toro lays it on so thick that there's no room for counterargument or even independent thought.
"The Shape of Water" is director Guillermo del Toro's finest film, a lovely, empathetic tribute to Old Hollywood, monster movies, outsiders and love that could only come from the mind of the visionary filmmaker.
The more I try to find some kind of justifiable meaning and relevance, the more I find The Shape of Water a loopy, lunkheaded load of drivel.
The visual stylist spins an adult fairy tale that takes elements from "Beauty and the Beast" and recasts them in an alternative universe that's a wonderfully rendered twist on our own.
An enchanting re-imagining of "Beauty and the Beast," it is an unforgettably romantic, utterly sublime, dazzling phantasmagoria.
Audience Reviews for The Shape of Water
While the set-up, production design, acting and directing is flawless I found myself a tad underwhelmed by the film after so much praise. It's the story. Once you heard the premise you can pretty much figure out the entire plot. That's a little disappointing for such an unusual and ambitious project. A lot of Del Toro's quirky trademarks are there, but it's a surprisingly mainstream film, if bestiality doesn't bother you.
If this is not the 2017 Best Picture winner at the Oscars then I don't know what. Del Toro, writer and director, chooses to keep his leads silent, thereby broadening their appeal in this story about loneliness and separation, and the joy of discovering that that is not exactly so. Like lasagna, there are many levels to this, kudos to cinema, music, dance, photography, to humanity, to love ... it is a tour de force of a work, meant to be experienced more than simply just once. And Hawkins is a revelation.
The Shape of Water is an ingenious fantasy romance that utilizes cold war era elements to the advantage of its premise while subtly challenging our preconceived notions of established archetypes. Del Toro has an innate understanding of portraying beauty of purity in all it's forms while simultaneously showing us the grotesque underbelly and brutality of what it is to be human. These skills help him build a boy meets girl (or girl meets creature xP) fairytale with a believable yet dynamic supporting cast. The story is equal parts gripping as it is touching, overcoming it's formulaic approach by using unlikely characterization and story elements that come seamlessly together. Adding the films success to his repertoire definitely showcases Del Toro's ability to adapt and excel in multiple genres.
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