An other-worldly fairy tale, 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.
In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape.
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
Thirty years after they served together in Vietnam, a former Navy Corpsman Larry "Doc" Shepherd re-unites with his old buddies, former Marines Sal Nealon and Reverend Richard Mueller, to bury his son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War.
From master story teller, Guillermo del Toro, comes THE SHAPE OF WATER - an other-worldly 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
Thrilling, Touching and Surreal Exploration of the Heart; Both Human and Monster
To be seen and desired for who we truly are; it is the passionate wish of many. For Elisa, an unassuming and kind-hearted maid in a 1960s era government lab, this wish is granted in an unusual way. Virtually invisible and isolated, yet content in her little bubble, Elisa is lured from this comfort zone as she witnesses the arrival of a strange, monstrous sea creature in the lab. Despite warnings to keep her distance, Elisa sympathizes with the suffering creature. It is in chains and tortured by Strickland, a sadistic and violent government agent. This wild creature is impulsive. It responds to aggression with the same, and to kindness with kindness. As the cruelty of Strickland escalates, Elisa decides she must act to save the creature. Friendly and opposing forces emerge from unlikely places to help or hinder her. Love and light hinge on the erratic hearts of monsters and humans alike.
This thrilling, touching and surreal film explores the many forms and aspects of monsters. The worst monster of them all is the human heart, and yet it is also the most kind and beautiful. The film offers apt encouragement to speak up and act when others are in trouble and in pain. In this world of rising fascists who peddle hatred and opposition to science, art, sympathy and basically to all humanity, such encouragement is sorely needed.
With expressive eyes and strong empathy, Sally Hawkins is amazing and mesmerizing in her portrayal of Elisa. Michael Shannon is perfectly cast as the crude, cruel, sarcastic and controlling Strickland. In Strickland's sinful, selfish and negative world, the monster is better off dead. The supporting cast is wonderful. The film is full of depth and splendor. The Southern United States is the setting, yet the film was shot in Toronto. The theater that appears prominently on screen is the very same theater (the Elgin) in which I saw the film at the Toronto International Film Festival. I went into the theater with high hopes and was not disappointed.
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