Part 32: The Shape of Water

“If I told you about her, the princess without voice, what would I say?” – Giles, played by Richard Jenkins, in The Shape of Water.

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Nominations

Best Picture, Best Director, Best Lead Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design, Best Original Score, Best Costume Design

Basic Plot

Um. The plot on this one is bizarro but to keep it simple this movie is set in the 1960s and is about Elisa, a mute woman (Sally Hawkins), who falls in love with an amphibious man who is being held in a government classified research lab somewhere in Baltimore.  Yep.  Told ya.  Kind of weird. It is directed by Guillermo del Toro, and is arguably one if his best films to-date.

My Largely Irrelevant Commentary

Yall.  The Oscars airs tonight.  It’s crunch time.

The Acting

Sally Hawkins.  She plays Elisa, the mute janitor in the film and is the leading lady of the movie.  Guys – you have to be ultra talented to pull off an Oscar worthy performance playing a mute person.  Without words, you really have to throw everything you have into the performance to make a statement.  Sally Hawkins is SO DAMN GOOD in this movie.  Her emotions and feelings come through so well it’s insan; it’s not an in your face performance, in fact it is very subtle which is why I really enjoyed it.  Definitely worth the nomination and to me this race is all about Sally Hawkins and Frances McDormand.

Octavia Spencer.  I’m a fan; it’s hard not to be because she is so consistently good and she picks really smart roles.  I liked her in the movie and some of her subtle humor finds its way into her performance as Elisa’s co-worker, Zelda, at the lab.  I like the nomination, but I can’t put her at the top of my list…there are just others in the Supporting Actress category that had more dominant and impactful performances, not to discount hers at all.

Richard Jenkins.  He plays the role of Giles, an artist, which I don’t even quite know how to explain what he was to Elisa other than her neighbor and friend.  He is really great in this movie.  I’m generally a fan of his, but in this movie he’s funny, and kind and a little quirky.  I like the nomination, but like Octavia Spencer, I don’t think he takes this one home this time around.

The Film

This film is like a re-imagined Beauty and The Beast.  It’s a perfect blend of fantasy and reality with a very solid cast.  It’s easily one of the best movies of the year and there’s a reason it is up for 13 Oscars.  13.  All deserving.  It is fascinating, heartwarming, visually great, and it has all the feels.  Go see it – just keep an open mind but it is for sure different.  In a good way!

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