I was both excited and intrigued after seeing the trailer for The Shape of Water, and I was not disappointed. This movie is a modern masterpiece.
Guillermo Del Toro understands that to draw a viewer in, you need to make every aspect of a film standout. He has no trouble doing that, but there is one thing he does better than most (if not all) modern filmmakers; he knows how to light his scenes. Not just the actors and forefront, but the backgrounds as well. This movie is similar to Pan’s Labyrinth in the regard that it is an isolated incident taking place during a specific time period. The Shape of Water unfolds in 1962, during the space race, which encourages an intimate and ultimately more effective film. The cast of this movie is just phenomenal. Sally Hawkins gives one of the best performances of the year as Elisa Esposito. It’s can sometimes be difficult to pull off a silent performance, but Hawkins excelled at it and kept my attention the entire time. Richard Jenkins is one of my favorite actors and his character Giles has the best dialogue in the film. I really hope that he gets a best supporting actor nomination for this. Octavia Spencer plays Zelda Fuller, another friend who works with Elisa. Her performance is also one to remember, providing a lot of funny banter. Michael Shannon plays the main antagonist, Richard Strickland, and is easily the top villain in film this year. No one does villains better than Del Toro, he knows how to make them stand out. He often does this by giving them certain habits, making them seem more human. I feel like we can all see a bit of ourselves in Del Toro’s antagonists. Veteran actor Doug Jones stars as the Amphibian Man. His performance in the make-up was stellar. At first, I was afraid that he was going to play it a bit too much like Abe Sapien, but that is not the case at all. I’m happy to say that he brought unique take to this new fish guy.
The Shape of Water is my favorite movie of the year, and it’s playing in most theaters right now. Go see it, and support this fantastic film.