"The Shape of Water" is an award-season contender that does anything but disappoint.
Having recently won the Golden Globe for best director for Guillermo del Toro and receiving 13 Oscar nominations, it’s no surprise. This is as equally haunting as it is beautiful in its story, spirit and visual nature.
Sally Hawkins stars as a mute janitor who works at a science research facility in the early 1960s. She stumbles upon a laboratory where a mysterious creature is being held for study and experimentation. Michael Shannon costars as a colonel who captured the beast.
Once Hawkins’ character sees the creature for the first time, she becomes deeply fascinated with it and soon learns that it has human capabilities, and she begins to communicate with it using sign language. It has a penchant for eggs.
She also discovers that the facility wants to use the creature to beat the Russians to space and she feels it’s up to her to save it and set it free.
This is where it goes into E.T. territory, but it works. Strangely or perhaps unsurprisingly, the creature and Hawkins begin falling in love and they share a breathtaking sequence involving her bathroom being flooded.
Del Toro once again brings his bizarre, fanciful sensibilities to the fore in a film that combines "Beauty and the Beast" and "Creature from the Black Lagoon."
Hawkins turns in a beautiful performance, and she has a lot of support from the likes of Shannon, Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer.
As for the visuals, del Toro crafts this movie with haunting sequences punctuated by stellar cinematography and a musical score that accentuates the imagery.
It’s no surprise to see how this landed 13 Oscar nominations. As a cinematic experience, "The Shape of Water" is unforgettable.
Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, and language.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia. Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.