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The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water

(Guillermo del Toro)

Early last year I believe, I received a pick list for some gear at work. It was for a film titled "The Shape of Water" what a stupid title I thought, as I picked some lights, grip gear and electric equipment. Flash forward to now and this Oscar nominated film is one of the best films this year...and the title doesn't sound so stupid.

Elisa is a mute woman who works at a government run lab as a cleaning lady. One night some scientists and military personnel bring in a creature encased in water. After an accident occurs, Elisa and her co-worker Zelda are asked to clean up some blood. She sees the creature. Being a mute, she must communicate via sign-language and this helps her be able to communicate with the creature. A bizarre relationship blossoms and Elisa discovers she must help this creature escape before it becomes fish food for some government science experiments.

I don't know what else to say about this film that hasn't already been said. Beautifully shot, wonderfully acted and fully realized in a world created by del Toro. The Shape of Water was able to transport me to this place of imagination and heart, I was invested from the very beginning. The film feel timeless and tips its hat to the films from the silent era. There are little touches here and there that scream del Toro, such as Shannon's fingers slowly decaying and becoming blacker with each scene. A small detail that maybe another filmmaker wouldn't have done.

The creature effects blend costume, make-up and CGI flawlessly. This is a living, breathing creature brought to life by a team of specialist and the ever so elastic Doug Jones. He's made a career out of playing these things, covered in heavy make-up and he brings another creature to life here.

Some really touching moments, moments of intensity and brief fun. The Shape of Water is one of the best films of the year.