Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones.
Director: Guillermo del Toro.
Producers: Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale
Screenplay: Guillermo del Toro.
Cinematography: Dan Laustsen.
Editor: Sidney Wollinsky.
Score: Alexandre Desplat.
The Shape of Water is an undeniable masterpiece in terms of the audiovisual language; every department involved in creating this film brought the best of their game, and helped build a word that is both fantastic and tangible at the same time. The beautiful universe created by del Toro serves as a setting for a heart-warming story which is an allegory for today’s fight for freedom of choice of who we like, with an antagonist whose behavior is very similar to that of a certain president I don’t even have to name. It is because of these great elements in the picture that one can notice how the script fell short in many ways– some parts of the story seemed forced to work together. Some characters seemed a bit two-dimensional, instead of complex, real creatures.
An example is the Russian spy who throughout the film works as a mentor for Elisa, wholeheartedly helping her keep the creature safe. What did you think when when he tipped off Strickland, who wants to destroy the creature, on who was hiding it? Don’t you think the character deserved better? It seemed the writers resorted to some odd choices to just push the story forward, whereas they could've altered some of the storyline earlier in the movie and let the story develop more organically.
Del Toro is no doubt a master at his craft– perhaps he should trust the writing of his awesome, beautiful, crazy scripts to someone who understands his vision •
Academy Nominations: Best Director, Best Picture, Best Actress (Hawkins), Best Supporting Actress (Spencer), Best Supporting Actor (Jenkins), Best Original Music Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing.