Movie: The Shape Of Water (2017) #Oscars #BestPicture

Mild spoilers.

I am a huge Guillermo del Toro fan.  Loved Pan’s Labyrinth. He is a solid author (i.e. The Strain).  I went into this movie with del Toro in mind.  I left the movie at odds with my feelings for it.  First of all, if you are prudish, avoid this movie like the plague.  Just, don’t do it.  It was a bit much.  Coming from me, that says something.  Not sure what it says, but it’s something.  I will be interested to hear from my friends, what they thought of the movie.

A few things I thought while I watched the movie:

  • I really like the initial narration of this movie.  I like the pace, the way the cadence of their voices beats out like a song.  I like the colors, all blues and greens.
  • Wait…. full frontal nudity?
  • Wait…. what’s that egg timer for?
  • Wait…. she’s timing herself?
  • I’m so confused.
  • I love the throwbacks to OLD cinema: Cleopatra, Shirley Temple and OLD TV: Mr. Magoo, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
  • This is a movie that immediately identifies the bad guy.  Dude – he walked right in there and peed while they were cleaning.  POS
  • Advice for my younger self: “Take better care of yourself and fuck more.” – and there you have it.
  • “Short people are mean.”  ha ha ha ha
  • “Green is the future now.” – interesting that is a line as the whole movie is in tones of blue, green and teal.
  • He is an evil hiding behind the rigors of a religion?  Or maybe not.
  • The fish dude has a resemblance of The Creature From The Black Lagoon.  Could that be why they are doing all the old throwback movies from yesteryear?
  • “Life is but the shipwreck of our plans.”
  • This fish man is like Swamp Thing meets Singing In The Rain.
  • “You were just speaking Russian Bob!”
  • I kinda love Richard Jenkins in every role he plays.

I think I feel as if the movie was disjointed.  Like a bag of marbles dropped on the ground.  All of those marbles belong to the same bag but they have scattered once the hit the ground and now they are all over the place, not really rolling towards each other.  That is how my thoughts felt watching this movie. Just all over the place.

Was she the Little Mermaid?  If the Little Mermaid was a dirty movie maybe?

Did you see it?  What did you think?  Let me know in the comments below.

IMDB Synopsis: At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.



Additional Movie Info:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 92% Fresh.  It received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 78% liking it.  Average Rating: 3.9/5 with a number of User Ratings: 18,133.

Movie Reviews:

Specs:  Release date: 22 December 2017 (USA) / Runtime: 123 minutes / Budget: $19.4M

IMDB Trivia:

  • The creature design is heavily inspired by the film The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). Michael Shannon’s character even says they picked it up in a river in South America, which is the setting of The Creature from the film.
  • Guillermo Del Toro wrote lengthy backstories for each of the major characters, some of them allegedly running over 40 pages long. After casting the roles, he offered them to the actors and said they could choose to utilize or ignore the backstories for their own character. The actors responded differently, with Richard Jenkins saying he ignored the backstory, stating “the only thing that matters is what happens on screen”, while Michael Stuhlbarg said he read the backstory voraciously and found it helpful in his performance.
  • When “The Shape of Water” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017, the screening was held in the Elgin Theatre. The interior scenes of the theater in the film were shot in the Elgin Theatre, so as the audience was watching the film, they were seeing the same theater on screen that they were sitting in.
  • The last name of the main character Elisa Esposito is of Italian origin, and is given to children who were abandoned or exposed.
  • This film has similarities with the Soviet novel Amphibian Man (1928) by Belyaev.
  • While filming the scene where Michael Shannon drives to confront Sally Hawkin’s character upon discovering she helped the creature escape, Shannon drove his car and stopped outside of theater, but he forgot to put the car in park. This resulted in the car rolling down the street and it collided with a decorative pole as well as a telephone pole, damaging the poles and Shannon’s vehicle. The production team decided that take was so well done that they kept it in the film.
  • A novelized adaptation of the film, written by del Toro and Daniel Kraus, will be released on February 27, 2018.
  • Director Guillermo del Toro began working on the film in 2011. He self-financed a crew that designed both the creature and the lab.
  • Filming took twelve weeks.
  • One of Octavia Spencer‘s favorite things about the screenplay was the fact that, by letting the main couple be mute, most of the dialogue comes from a black woman and a closeted gay man. In real life, they would both have experienced oppression during the 1960s setting of the film.
  • Elisa’s calendar shows the date of October 10th as the Rains/Docks date to release the creature, October 9th is shown briefly before ; which is director Guillermo’s actual birthday.

For reference, these are the old movies/shows in the theater/background/TV:

Follow the Fleet (1936)
The set of the dance number echoes the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” though in the original version there is no orchestra on the stage. This dance with the set is also imitated by Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters in “Pennies from Heaven.”
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
The Amphibian Man was modeled after the creature from this movie. Director Guillermo Del Toro has cited this movie as a major influence on his film.
Mardi Gras (1958)
Seen on the theater marquee
A Summer Place (1959)
Theme music plays when Strickland is at the Cadillac dealership.
The Story of Ruth (1960)
Seen on the theater marquee
The Little Colonel (1935)
The “Tap on Stairs” scene is played on the television.
That Night in Rio (1941)
Seen on TV
Sun Valley Serenade (1941)
Seen played on TV
Hello Frisco, Hello (1943)
The scene of Alice Faye singing “You’ll Never Know” plays on Giles’ television.
Mister Ed (1958) (TV Series)
Seen on TV when the Amphibian Man enters Giles’ apartment
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959) (TV Series)
Richard’s kids watch it on TV.
Mister Magoo (1960) (TV Series)
Richard Strickland’s kids watch it on TV


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