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The Shape of Water (2017)

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At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.

Director:

Guillermo del Toro

Writers:

Guillermo del Toro (screenplay by), Vanessa Taylor (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
101 ( 17)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 106 wins & 306 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Hawkins ... Elisa Esposito
Michael Shannon ... Richard Strickland
Richard Jenkins ... Giles
Octavia Spencer ... Zelda Fuller
Michael Stuhlbarg ... Dr. Robert Hoffstetler
Doug Jones ... Amphibian Man
David Hewlett ... Fleming
Nick Searcy ... General Hoyt
Stewart Arnott ... Bernard
Nigel Bennett ... Mihalkov
Lauren Lee Smith ... Elaine Strickland
Martin Roach ... Brewster Fuller
Allegra Fulton ... Yolanda
John Kapelos ... Mr. Arzoumanian
Morgan Kelly ... Pie Guy
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Storyline

From master storyteller Guillermo del Toro comes THE SHAPE OF WATER, an otherworldly fable set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Doug Jones. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Experience a connection beyond words. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

22 December 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shape of Water See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$166,564, 1 December 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$63,859,435, 3 May 2018

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$194,349,972, 29 April 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

D-Cinema 48kHz 5.1

Color:

Color | Black and White (dream sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Shape of Water is the top grossing Best Picture Winner in five years, grossing over $194 million worldwide on a budget of approximately $19 million. See more »

Goofs

When Strickland is shooting at the van with his revolver, bullet shell casings are heard hitting and ringing on the cement floor like an automatic pistol. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Giles: If I spoke about it - if I did - what would I tell you? I wonder. Would I tell you about the time? It happened a long time ago, it seems. In the last days of a fair prince's reign. Or would I tell you about the place? A small city near the coast, but far from everything else. Or, I don't know... Would I tell you about her? The princess without voice. Or perhaps I would just warn you, about the truth of these facts. And the tale of love and loss. And the monster, who tried to ...
See more »

Connections

References Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Cues from the Episode 'The Hunted'
from Hong Kong (1960)
Written by Hugo Friedhofer, Bernard Herrmann, Lionel Newman
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Love
5 June 2018 | by BiiivALSee all my reviews

As the director of the highest class, Guillermo del Toro showed himself at the beginning of his career when he happened to put a charming Chronos and truly frightening "Mutants", which allowed the Mexican master to gain a foothold on American soil and continue further creative research. Each film del Toro, whether it be frightening mysticism, horror or screen adaptation of a graphic novella, has a powerful emotional charge, profound reasoning and breaking any barriers by the power of love, to which the director has a special relationship. Invariably putting his hand to writing the script, the director does everything necessary for the veil of special effects to reveal the true feelings between intelligent creatures who understand the true value of relations between loved ones. For del Toro, it is not important what kind of love grows in his paintings. It can permeate the relationship of a man and a woman, or vice versa, have a strong kinship. Value has only a manifestation of its essence in all sensual beauty. And then even the most impenetrable gloom retreats to the side, leaving only light on the review, which it is not possible to overcome other feelings. "Hellboy", "Labyrinth of the Faun", "Crimson Peak" and other author's achievements del Toro always attracted special attention from the audience. When the director could bypass the intrusive attention of producers, a truly unforgettable show comes from under his hands. The same is the "Form of water", a rich, catchy and at the same time delicate work that keeps us in suspense until the very end.

So, the plot of the film unfolds in the early 60s of the last century and introduces us to the silent cleaning lady Eliza Ezpozito (Sally Hawkins), who managed to get a job in a secret government laboratory. Having found herself far from the city noise and a society that she can not accept the way she is, Sally is sitting out at work all day long and tries to do everything necessary to avoid paying too much attention to her. And let the work with the mop and buckets do not bring her special pleasure, the heroine finds time to delve into her own thoughts and create in the imagination a wonderful world in which no one else can penetrate her. Having no close friends, much less a lover, Eliza tries to look for joy in sheer little things and for a long time nothing foreshadowed the rapid development in her personal relationships, when suddenly the girl seems to know the most important secret around which the secret laboratory's activities are built. It turns out that under the care of the sinister Colonel Strickland (Michael Shannon) is a sensible amphibian (Doug Jones), an unknown creature trapped in a closed reservoir and amenable to constant experiments. Accidentally meeting with the marvelous creature with a glance, Eliza suddenly realizes that this meeting is far from accidental and it is quite possible that a feeling arises between it and the amphibian, which can not be designated otherwise than love. And when it becomes known that the underwater guest faces a deadly danger, Eliza will not sit aside, since for the first time in her life she has found a soul mate and is ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of her salvation. "The shape of the water", undoubtedly, stands out with special importance against the background of the other works of Del Toro, since it was born at the moment when its creator had already visited the peak of universal adoration, and then dabbed the reputation with ambiguous projects and decisions that called doubts. But for all his creative mistakes Del Toro not only did not lower his hands, but became only a more perspicacious and skilful creator, who with each new work is put more inspired and restless. Seeing us in the world of brutal servicemen, unfortunate cleaners and innocent magical creatures, the master used the motifs of classical drama and tragedy, surprised with serious emotional strokes and was not afraid to demonstrate strong feelings with all the staging power that not only amazes but also frightens, Like a real horror film. And in order for all the elements of the "Formula of Water" to converge, Del Toro needed exceptional actors, able to revive his characters and create experiences that would not have to be doubted. Fortunately, his idea interested only in respectable performers who could easily abandon a large fee in favor of serving the arts.

Sally Hawkins, the confident and sought-after actress, who rarely trusts roles in big blockbusters, of course, became the soul of this film, but her talent and ability to get used to the images gradually becomes legendary. Agreeing to embody Del Toro's fantasies in life, Hawkins played a strikingly sensual role that attracts maximum attention and makes her soul sympathize with the tragedy of the unhappy girl's relationship with a creature from a different world. In turn, a good friend of the director, Doug Jones, was no less brilliant party to match Hawkins, and thereby allowed the actress to reveal the full range of dramatic experiences through the impeccable performance of the image of an amphibian man who caused in a dumb beauty a storm of unprecedented emotions for her. For obvious reasons, we again do not see the true appearance of Jones, but he has repeatedly performed in front of the camera a variety of strange creatures and in the "Formula of Water" reached the apogee of skill, after which it will be difficult for him to play a piercing role.

In the end, I want to say that the "Form of Water" tells us a love story that is simple and yet unprecedentedly beautiful and soulful. Guillermo del Toro shot the film the way he himself wanted and thanks to this "Form of Water" looks like a really chic authoring film.


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