The Shape of Water - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Shape of Water Reviews

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May 21, 2019
I'm not a fan of director Guillermo del Toro's work as I didn't enjoy Pan's Labyrinth (2006) and I found Pacific Rim (2013) to be a cheesy action film. I do like this film however as it blends a traditional fairytale with a spy thriller and many other genres to create a beautiful, weird film. I was bored in parts of the film and I would have liked to see more of some parts of the film and less of others but it's still a well constructed film. As a Best Picture winner it's definitely not as strong as Moonlight (2016) or Spotlight (2015) and Call Me by Your Name (2017) and Lady Bird (2017) would have been more deserving winners but this is still a decent film.

Elisa Esposito, Sally Hawkins, is a mute woman who works as a janitor at a Government laboratory and lives above a movie theatre with her closeted gay friend Giles, Richard Jenkins. One day an amphibian man, Doug Jones, is brought into the facility by Richard Strickland, Michael Shannon, who they intend to study and use to get an advantage in the space race. Unbeknownst to Strickland his fellow employee at the facility, Robert Hoffstetler, Michael Stuhlbarg, is a Russian spy who has sympathies for the amphibian man despite the orders he receives. Elisa and the amphibian man fall in love and she attempts to save him from Strickland's wrath.

Shannon is perfectly cast as the villain, Strickland, who is easily the most interesting character in the movie. His menacing features and droll, intimidating delivery of his lines convince you that he is utterly evil and completely willing to take down anybody who stands in his way. His relationship to sexuality is fascinating as his relations with his wife are clearly more about having power than being very attracted to one another and his awkward attempt to proposition Elisa into having a sexual relationship, "I could make you squeal", shows how vulnerable he can be. Towards the end of the film he appears almost asexual as his only motivation is to maintain his status through murdering the amphibian man but it could also be interpreted as him believing that he is sexually inferior to him and wants to eliminate the obstacles to Elisa's affections.

Jenkins is also a lovely presence as Elisa's closest friend and he manages to be whimsical and wonderful but also heartbreaking as he faces the prejudices of the 1960s. His attempts to flirt with a waiter who sells pie, which he is shown to dislike as many unfinished slices are left in the fridge, end in tragedy as when the waiter discovers that he is gay he angrily rebukes him and tells him to leave "a family establishment." His bond with Elisa seems genuine and their quiet nights spent together eating pie and watching classic films produce some of the best moments in the film. Jenkins was fully deserving of his Best Supporting Actor nomination and although he's not on the level of Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project (2017) he was better than Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017).

The only real issues I had with the film were that it dragged at times with the scenes of Hoffstetler corresponding with his Russian superiors felt overly long and clichà (C). The film is only 2 hours but it felt like 3 and I wanted something more out of the time. The romance also became a little treacly sweet for me at times as the sex scenes were entertaining enough but again, overly long. My complaints aren't huge but they really stopped the film from being a 10 out of 10 for me and lowered it into the category of good but not great.

2017 was a great year for cinema and for Best Picture nominees, with the exception of Darkest Hour (2017), which unfortunately means I don't believe this is deserving of Best Picture. My choice would have been Lady Bird (2017) but this is still a nice film featuring two great actors giving good performances in interesting roles and it's definitely worth watching with your parents even if you are uncomfortable with the graphic nudity.
½ May 18, 2019
Como pontos altos estão um elenco definitivamente bem sincronizado. trilha sonora muito bem escolhida. fotografia e edições de alta qualidade. mas só, achei bem mais superestimado com as dezenas de matà (C)rias sobre ele. não achei uma história altamente fantástica, apenas um conto "bem contado". acredito que pode levar diversos prêmios em paralelo, mas não merece o melhor filme em minha opinião.
½ May 14, 2019
Imanginitive, funny, sumptuous, and surprisingly complex, Guillermo del Toro's latest stroke of genius is one of many that proves the filmmaker as the master of modern monster movies.
½ May 13, 2019
Beautifully antique. Masterfully directed. The SJW moments were occasionally distracting.
½ May 7, 2019
Utterly captivating. Sadly , it's a fairytale for adults ( that still remember being a tiny child ). Well done Del Toro. Hawkins is absolutely spellbinding.
May 4, 2019
Wow. I never would have thought a movie where a lady f*cks a fish would be any good, but in a way, I was right. It was a brilliant film. It goes beyond the whole fish-f*cking and actually puts it in the perspective of characters trying to find meaning in life. Great job, Del Toro.
May 2, 2019
Hermosa oda al cine, un amor visceral que trasciende las fronteras de lo imaginable.
April 25, 2019
Too well-crafted sometimes it feels emotionally mechanic.
April 23, 2019
I'm a big DelTorro fan. This movie was very well made. The characters, engaging, the acting excellent. I'm not a love story fan, however, but this was not too bad.
April 22, 2019
I get it, but just because is different, does make it necessary good art.
April 22, 2019
Possibly one of the weirdest love stories I have ever watched! Good acting nevertheless!
April 17, 2019
this movie predictable it just like his oher movies
½ April 16, 2019
This is the dumbest movie I've ever seen. Godzilla is more realistic. It was just plain stupid.
April 15, 2019
someone has finally dared to ask "what if Lilo & Stitch was rated R?"
½ April 11, 2019
Just watched this movie on HBO. I gave it 2.5 stars only because in spite of the subject matter it kept my interest enough to keep me watching it to the end. I can not agree with all of the 4 and 5 star ratings. Obviously I'm not status quo so I can not be enlightened nor elite. Just thought the plot line a bit ridiculous and forced.
½ April 9, 2019
This sumptuous love story between human and amphibian may not be to everyone's taste, but if you go with it, Guillermo del Toro's offbeat romance hardly puts a (webbed) foot wrong, with its stunning production and creature designs and a beautiful whimsical tale that never forgets the harsh and cruel realities of the real world.
April 7, 2019
Highly overrated movie with mostly no surprise, forgettable acting and disappointing visuals. Loved Shannon's performance and Del Toro's depiction of Strickland though, both bold and so clichà (C) that you can't take your eyes off that character.
April 4, 2019
Who wrote this mince?
½ March 28, 2019
Simply cannot believe this was rated so high on this site, all that I have to say.
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