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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
312 ( 5)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 125 wins & 336 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:

A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times 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

Official Sites:

Fox Searchlight | Official Facebook | See more »

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

Gross USA:

$63,859,435

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$195,243,464
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

Guillermo del Toro's breathing was recorded as part of the Amphibian Man's vocalization. See more »

Goofs

When Elisa brings her portable record player to the creature, she has two albums of big-band swing, a Benny Goodman LP on Columbia and a Glenn Miller album. The Goodman LP has the correct Columbia label for the film's 1962 setting but the Miller album, which is shown on her turntable, has a green label. Miller's record company, RCA Victor, used black labels for its popular releases. 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 »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits roll over footage of a flooded apartment. See more »

Connections

References Delicatessen (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

I Know Why (and So Do You)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Glenn Miller with Pat Friday, John Payne & The Modernaires
From the Motion Picture Sun Valley Serenade (1941)
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fantastical but gritty romance
18 February 2018 | by donegalcatSee all my reviews

The Shape of Water is a new take on a very old story as a lowly cleaning woman falls in love with an unusual creature and must protect it from the authorities who wish to destroy it. While the story is not original, harking to films as diverse as Beauty and the Beast, ET and Free Willy, the film is still a delight to watch. Written and directed by Guillermo DelToro, the film is similar in style to much of his work, combining his usual magical fantasy with gritty, sometimes violent social realism.

Sally Hawkins is delightful as the mute cleaner working in a secret government facility where the water creature is held. Her performance is wonderfully expressive and there is great interplay between her and co-stars Richard Jenkins as her neighbour and Octavia Spencer as her colleague. Michael Shannon growls and bites devilishly as the villain out to kill the creature and anyone who gets in his way.

The film wears its 1960's setting well with frequent references to cold war politics, the space race and contemporary culture. While the film also pays adoring homage to older cinema including a lovely dance scene evocative of early musicals.

Alexandre Desplat's soaring score beautifully underlines the film.

Overall, despite the weak story, the film is a joy to watch. Well acted by a fantastic cast and visually sumptuous, the film is one of Del Toro's best.


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