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The Shape Of Water
Published Date: 05/02/2018
At a top secret research facility in the 1950s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.
“Water takes the shape of whatever is holding it at the time and although water can be so gentle, it's also the most powerful and malleable force in the universe. That's also love, isn't it? It doesn’t matter what shape we put love into, it becomes that, whether it’s man, woman or creature.”
Guillermo Del Toro on The Shape of Water
Could such a daring feat of the imagination come from any other filmmaker than Guillermo Del Toro? From the mind who gave us cinematic treats such as Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water has been nominated for a staggering thirteen Oscars.
Master storyteller Del Toro’s The Shape of Water is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Set in a secret government laboratory at the height of the Cold War, The Shape of Water casts an other-worldly spell, merging the pathos and thrills of the classic monster movie tradition with shadowy film noir, and then stirring in the heart of a love story like no other to explore the fantasies we all flirt with, the mysteries we can’t control and the monstrosities we must confront. Del Toro opens his tale deep underwater.
From there the entire film becomes an act of breathless submersion, plunging the audience into a 1960s world full of things we recognise – power, anger, intolerance; as well as loneliness, determination and sudden, electrifying connections – and one extraordinary creature we do not. An inexplicable biological “asset” of the U.S. government, a mute cleaning woman, her loving best friends, Soviet spies and an audacious theft all flow into a singular romance that surges beyond all boundaries.
The Shape of Water was conceived in 2011 when Del Toro and Daniel Kraus, the director’s writing partner on his children’s book series, ‘Trollhunters’, met for breakfast one morning. Kraus mentioned an idea he had had as a teenager, about a cleaning woman working in a government facility and secretly befriending an amphibious man being held captive as a specimen and how she decides to liberate him. Del Toro loved the idea so much that he immediately said he wanted it to be his next movie - it seemed the perfect sort of fairy tale idea he had been searching for.
At that point, Del Toro was still completing work on his giant-robot/monster blockbuster Pacific Rim, but in rare quiet moments, also drawing from classic monster films such as The Creature from the Black Lagoon, he’d spend time writing the script for the more intimate film that would eventually be called The Shape of Water.
Del Toro honed the script to the voices of the actors who were eventually offered roles in the film - Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg and Del Toro stalwart, Doug Jones.
Oscar nominated for her performance, Sally Hawkins knew instantly there has never been and will never be a role quite like Elisa. “It’s so rare that you get a role that asks you to put it all out there. Where it’s about unadulterated expression and words are not needed, and you have the freedom to express so much through your eyes, breath and body. That is Elisa.”
We simply cannot wait to host The Shape of Water at Showcase from February 14.
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