drbubb Posted September 1, 2017 Report Share Posted September 1, 2017 Bizarre Love Story : 2017 version of Beauty & (real) Beast? But she is no beauty, and the beast is not rich - so no traditional fairytale ending The Shape of Water, Venice review: Guillermo del Toro's beautiful blood-curdler is as timeless as a fairy tale 2 Comments Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water Robbie Collin, Film Critic 31 August 2017 • 10:31am Dir: Guillermo del Toro; Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg. Cert tbc, 119 mins. Guillermo del Toro’s films are often as sensuously contorted as the monstrous creatures that lurk within them, but his latest is a pretzel-twist of pure strangeness, even by his standards. The Shape of Water, which premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival this morning, is an honest-to-God B-movie blood-curdler that’s also, somehow, a shimmeringly earnest and boundlessly beautiful melodrama: think Creature From the Black Lagoon directed by Douglas Sirk. It offers what must be cinema’s uneasiest probing of the postwar American psyche since Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master – and is unquestionably del Toro’s best, richest film since his 2006 Spanish-language masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth. Crucially, it’s also one that he and he alone could have dreamt up. The bright-eyed heroine of the piece is Elisa (Sally Hawkins), who lives alone in an apartment above a crumbling repertory cinema in downtown Baltimore, and works nights as a charlady at the pointedly named Occam Aerospace Research Centre, where the strange goings-on defy a neatly razored explanation. The films on the marquee below Elisa’s window (The Story of Ruth and a half-forgotten Pat Boone musical called Mardi Gras, both playing in “triumphant return”) place the action in the early 1960s, but as so often with the Mexican director, it also has the timeless glow of fairy-tale – and could often almost be Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid turned back to front. An opening narration, provided by Elisa’s neighbour Giles (Richard Jenkins) describes her as “a princess without a voice” – the film’s poetic way of breaking it to us that she’s a lifelong mute, after having her vocal cords cut in early childhood. The visible trace of this horrific act of abuse is a set of three slender scars on the side of her throat – and despite her quick command of sign language, she’s long since acclimatised to not being heard. Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water That’s one big thing that makes The Asset (Doug Jones) different from so many of the men in her life: he listens. Another is that he’s an amphibious humanoid swamp thing, dragged to Occam for vivisection in the hope that study of his complex respiratory system can give the United States an edge in the ongoing space race. Its captor is a government agent called Strickland (Michael Shannon), who swings an enormous, electrified truncheon like he’s compensating for something, and is spotted one evening by Elisa and her plain-speaking friend and colleague Zelda (Octavia Spencer) staggering from its containment unit, blotched with blood. == > http://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/shape-water-reviewguillermo-del-toros-beautiful-blood-curdler/ Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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