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This past weekend was an embarrassment of riches when it came to movie trailers. Comic Con always delivers. The latest Thor: Ragnarok trailer finally got me excited for the movie, and Warner Brothers has an incredibly impressive batch of movies coming up. With August almost upon us and the majority of big summer releases behind us, we’re about to be inundated with trailers for all the movies that we’ll see nominations for all awards season. (The Call Me By Your Name trailer can hurry the hell up.) The trailer for The Shape of Water was released just before Comic Con so it’s gotten lost in the shuffle a bit, but it got me really, really excited for the movie nonetheless. Even more so because I was completely unaware of this movie’s existence before I saw it. Guillermo del Toro always makes movies that are amazing to look at, but most of them have been too scary for me. Pan’s Labyrinth, while fantastic, really creeped me out, and I was way too chicken to see Crimson Peak, even for Tom Hiddleston. The Shape of Water looks weird, but also kind of adorable.
An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of silence and isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.
To me it has a bit of an Amélie vibe, and also a little bit of the quirky flair that The Addams Family movies had, which I am all about. The early 60s is one of my favorite eras, and has the perfect aesthetic for the fantasy elements incorporated into real world events. It’s like a mod version of Beauty and the Beast, and we all loved that! The creature will be played by Doug Jones, who has done a lot with del Toro in the past. He played the Pale Man and the Faun in Pan’s Labyrinth, and I don’t want to be that pretentious movie person, but sometimes it’s nice to see something done practically when it could have been done entirely in CGI.
I love when stories feature a character that has a feature that many consider a hinderance, in this case Elisa’s mutism, and use that feature to make them special. People with disabilities live their lives just as fully as those of us without one, and the way they make their way through the world can give them insights that everyone else should pay attention to. The poster for the movie is stunning, and I hope this is the one that is used in theater advertising.
Everyone involved with this movie is fantastic actually. Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, and Richard Jenkins are great in pretty much everything they’re in, and composer Alexandre Desplat does almost all of my favorite scores. (He composed the score for New Moon, which I think had the most beautiful music of the Twilight franchise.)
The Shape of Water comes out December 8th, but was just announced as part of the lineup for the Toronto International Film Festival, which could help its awards season chances.
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