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The Shape of Water (2017)

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Released:  Friday, December 1, 2017  
Length:  123 minutes
Studio: Searchlight Pictures
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Rating: The Shape of Water is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaUnder 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.


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.

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The Shape of Water images are © Searchlight Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

2018 Academy Awards Winners List  3/5/2018 9:49 AM EST
The 90th Annual Academy Awards were held last night in Hollywood at the Dolby Theatre with Jimmy Kimmel hosting. "The Shape of Water" was the big winner for the evening, winning 3 awards. Below is the complete list of winners.Best Picture"The Shape of Water"Best ActressFrances McDormand, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"Best ActorGary Oldman, "Darkest Hour"Best DirectorGuillermo del Toro...  More>>

2018 Academy Award Nominations Announced  1/23/2018 9:47 AM EST
The 2018 Academy Award nominees were announced this morning at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California.  This year's event will once again be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and will air live on March 4 on ABC. Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water" leads the list of nominations with 13, while Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" scored 9 and "Dunkirk" 7.Below is...  More>>

The Shape of Water 4K Ultra HD Review

Who is to say what constitutes love?  There are all types of love in the world.  Love for your fellow human, romantic love, love of a pet, love of food or certain flavors, etc. that others can't necessarily understand.  Currently, all over the world, love is under attack because some feel it is immoral to have same-sex love (both physical and emotional).  They fear what they can't understand.  This idea can be paralleled in the latest Oscar Award Winner movie, director Guillermo del Toro's (Pacific Rim) The Shape of Water.  Underneath everything else that the film is, it is a love story under the most unique circumstances.

In the 1950's, there is a secret government facility that tests and observes unique items.  There is testing being done and oddities being studied.  Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins; Blue Jasmine) is a mute cleaning lady who works nights at the facility.  She has a set routine that doesn't seem to vary day in and day out.  She sleeps all day, takes a bath, makes her hard-boiled eggs, feeds her neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins; Step Brothers) while they "chat" via sign language and meets her friend Zelda (Octavia Spencer; Hidden Figures) each night as they go about their business cleaning the facility.

Then, one night, a new "creature", Amphibian Man (Doug Jones; Pan's Labyrinth), that was captured in South America shows up.  Part man, part fish (or so it seems), it is revered by the locals who saw it as a god.  Elisa, who feels sorry for it, tries to befriend it with hard-boiled eggs and music.  They eventually form a bond and when Elisa finds out it is being threatened she, with some help from her friends, takes drastic measures to save the creature.  This leads to a most unusual "relationship" that ultimately puts Elisa's life in danger.

The cast is excellent, especially Hawkins who says so much without uttering a word.  Her counterpart, of course, Jones is well versed in playing creatures so his expertise comes in handy in this movie as he too expresses so much without speaking (at least not any sound a human being would recognize).  Jenkins and Spencer are strong but that is to be expected from them.  Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals) as Richard Strickland, the security and harsh interrogator of the creature, is as phenomenal as we have ever seen him.  Honorable mention needs to go to Michael Stuhlbarg  (Men in Black 3), who plays a scientist who wishes to study the creature while spying on the US government for Russia.

The 4K Blu-ray offers exceptional video quality since it is presented in upscaled 2160p resolution with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  The detail on the face and body of the creature is so exact that it is truly a beautiful thing to watch.  The DTS- HD Master audio 5.1 compliments the video beautifully.  There is a subtle blend of dialog and ambient noise that immerses (pun intended) the audience and surrounds the viewer.  The extras in the combo pack are housed on the regular Blu-ray and include:  A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times, Anatomy of a Scene: Prologue, Anatomy of a Scene: The Dance, Shaping the Waves: A Conversation with James Jean, Guillermo del Toro's Master Class, and Theatrical Trailers.

There are numerous reasons why The Shape of Water won several Oscar awards.  It's an interesting story that is beautifully acted and masterfully directed.  However, I disagree with the result that The Shape of Water was the best picture last year.  The whole film is weird and the ending goes too far over the edge for me.  Regardless, it is a fantastic movie that I am sure changes with every subsequent viewing.

Grade: B+


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