“The Shape of Water”: Heartwarming and bizzare

Octavia Spencer and Sally Hawkins in "The Shape of Water." Photo by Kerry Hayes

Del Toro’s new film The Shape of Water is being recognized by fans and critics as a genuinely heart-warming masterpiece and it looks like it might be in the running to win an Oscar.

We already know that Del Toro has a love of monsters, but this time the monster is not there for the appeal of hardcore horror fans, but instead presents something of a love interest for the unlikely leading lady, Elisa (Sally Hawkins).

Del Toro wrote the script with Hawkins in mind to play the lead and her performance does not disappoint. She captures the character exquisitely well and gives what could quite possibly be the most heartfelt speech of the year so far, only she does it without saying a single word. The fact that Elisa is mute does not inhibit Hawkins but instead inspired her to give an incredible performance which critics are likening to that of a timeless silent-movie star.

Naturally, the cinematography is hauntingly beautiful and the movie leaves its audience with a sincere, human message of love and acceptance. Regardless of how you feel about the fantasy genre, there is something in this movie for everyone. Will it win an Oscar? It is hard to say because, despite its merits, the niche and bizarre nature of the movie might present a challenge. Either way, it is absolutely worth a watch.