The Shape of Water (2017)

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Guillermo del Toro directs Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon and Doug Jones in this period sci-fi romance about a mute cleaner who falls for the amphibious creature being experimented on at the government lab where she works. 

Amelie meets The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Like a lot of Del Toro’s oeuvre (egg) this delivers exactly what it promises to, no more, no less, and therefore fails to withstand the scrutiny its inevitable hype exposes it to. It is a fine, consciously quirky film only really daring in its sexual explicitness. Everything else from its well cast ensemble to its green, green, greeny green retrofuturist design is solid homage. I feel I should love, rather than like, Del Toro as much as everyone else does but he consistently delivers fantasies that are a little too on the nose, and that never really travel any further than their pitch. When he surprises me, I’ll join the adulation.

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