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The Shape of Water


The Shape of Water makes the deepest dive into romance this year of any movie — literally, figuratively and on both sides of the camera.

It’s a Beauty and the Beast fantasy about a mute cleaning woman who falls in love with a humanoid water creature, set during the Cold War hysteria of 1962 when all strange things seemed possible.

What a love story it is! Almost from the moment Elisa (Sally Hawkins, magnificent) locks her enchanted brown eyes upon the beseeching blue orbs of Amphibian Man (Doug Jones), the two are swept away by unfathomable rapture, carried along by one of Alexandre Desplat’s most swoon-worthy scores.

The other madly beating heart in the picture belongs to writer/director Guillermo del Toro, whose devotion to monsters has been evident throughout his career, from the Pale Man of Pan’s Labyrinth, also played by Jones, to the sulphurous creatures of Hellboy, to the robots and sea beasties tussling in Pacific Rim.

Del Toro has at times placed monsters ahead of humans in his storytelling — Crimson Peak and Mimic come to mind — but he and co-writer Vanessa Taylor (Divergent) get the balance right this time.

There are no limits on the aquatic green visuals and flowing water, which slosh everywhere, including inside Toronto’s Elgin Theatre, with our city once again standing in for an American one.

Courtesy: Peter Howell, The Toronto Star


No screenings currently scheduled.

Directed by: 
Guillermo del Toro
Running Time: 
123 minutes
USA and Canada
English, American Sign Language, and Russian
Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, and Michael Stuhlbarg
Official site: 
Screenplay by: 
Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor

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