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The Shape of Water

Director Guillermo del Toro
Country USA
Year 2017
Rating 14A
Running Time 123
Trailer Link
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From The Booth

Guillermo del Toro has always worked in a world where fantasy and reality twist together, sometimes with grotesque (remember Pan’s Labyrinth?) creatures. In The Shape of Water, his creature comes in the form of a Gill-man, if you will, a man-like creature who must live underwater. But for narrative convenience this creature merely represents “the other,” or any foreign body that some would want to kill out of their own fear. Mr del Toro has shaped a perfectly timed parable, a fantastical romance, where those with hearts, Elisa (Sally Hopkins) and her wonderful friends, Zelda (Octavia Spencer) and Giles (Richard Jenkins) conspire in acts of compassion against the American and Russian government forces who engage in fear, paranoia and murder. Timely? The film’s subtleties are built into every visual frame and the narrative is broad, simple and dripping in romance. I was often reminded of Amélie. If that’s not your cuppa, so be it. Otherwise, Most Highly Recommended