The Shape of Water


This movie was nominated for more Oscars than any other and not even close at thirteen compared to the next highest eight by Dunkirk. In some ways The Shape of Water is a classic horror movie, so it is surprising it has received so much acclaim. There are some artistic flourishes and some graphic violence and sexuality that would never have made it in the fifties, but I'm not sure what sets this movie apart. The acting is very good, particularly by Michael Shannon and Sally Hawkins. Octavia Spencer was nominated for Best Supporting but she has done similar roles in the past. I was glad to have seen Michael Shannon in Nocturnal Animals to get a better sense of his humor and menace. He can play a twisted messed up person like no one else. Sally Hawkins has a challenging role, playing a mute cleaning woman who strikes up a relationship with a version of the creature from the Black Lagoon. I won't go into the plot further than that because that was all I knew going in. The early 60's allows for some great sets, fashions, cars, and allows some easy riffs on social attitudes of the time. While maybe the story is somewhat typical, I do think the movie executes everything quite well and has a nice offbeat sense of humor and weirdness as this fantasy plays out. It is original but still very familiar with high production values.