View Poll Results: The Shape of Water

Voters
21. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yay

    18 85.71%
  • Nay

    3 14.29%
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 68

Thread: The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro)

  1. #1
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,703

    The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro)


  2. #2
    Cinematographer Mal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,070
    Everything is in the trailer and the conflict subplot isn't interesting. Despite Richard Jenkins and the creature design being great, I cannot recommend this.

  3. #3
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,703
    Saw this on Monday at TIFF, with Guillermo, his cast, and much of his crew unveiling it in the very theatre segments of it were shot, in the city he now looks to as a second home, showering his team and the city at large with endless genuine admiration, which was fairly lovely and moving enough in and of itself. And then the movie started.

    I'm still not sure exactly how to articulate my feelings towards it since even days later, trying to talk about it makes a bit overwhelmed by the physical swell of emotion it finds a way to warmly reverberates through me. It's simultaneously so fresh and inventive as a story, while feeling like something you're shocked Del Toro has somehow never made before.

    If and when this becomes an awards frontrunner, I'll love the fact that for all its prestige and beauty, it's also such a fundamentally weird, gnarly, gory, creature feature underneath it all. I'll be shocked if it isn't announced as the festival's People's Choice winner tomorrow (in which case I'll hopefully be seeing it again at said screening) and not just because it's such a Toronto movie, but because it's such an immensely beautiful and entertaining piece of work that just happens to also contain elements overtly dealing with The Power of Cinema™ in ways that, in addition to the outsider nature of all of its main, good characters, speaks to the inclusivity and freedom that the medium can offer at large.

    It's just excellently crafted through and through, and deeply affecting, often with such simple, delicate gestures. There's a shot of Hawkins moving her finger with raindrops on the window of her bus that inexplicably just about made me bawl. I mean, look, I've held all of his films he's made since Pan's Labyrinth in their own high regards, but there's still no question this is his uniformly finest film since. I love it so. (Which means I now dread its inevitable backlash for being positioned as such a critical/audience/awards darling!)
    Last edited by Henry Gale; 09-17-2017 at 04:19 AM.
    Last 11 things I really enjoyed:

    Speed Racer (Wachowski/Wachowski, 2008)
    Safe (Haynes, 1995)
    South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Parker, 1999)
    Beastie Boys Story (Jonze, 2020)
    Bad Trip (Sakurai, 2020)
    What's Up Doc? (Bogdanovich, 1972)
    Diva (Beineix, 1981)
    Delicatessen (Caro/Jeunet, 1991)
    The Hunger (Scott, 1983)
    Pineapple Express (Green, 2008)
    Chungking Express (Wong, 1994)

  4. #4
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,703
    Quote Quoting Zac Efron (view post)
    Everything is in the trailer and the conflict subplot isn't interesting. Despite Richard Jenkins and the creature design being great, I cannot recommend this.
    Hahaha, the perfect coincidence of you posting this as I unknowingly typed my post, both effusive and fearful that it was bound to turn at any second.
    Last 11 things I really enjoyed:

    Speed Racer (Wachowski/Wachowski, 2008)
    Safe (Haynes, 1995)
    South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Parker, 1999)
    Beastie Boys Story (Jonze, 2020)
    Bad Trip (Sakurai, 2020)
    What's Up Doc? (Bogdanovich, 1972)
    Diva (Beineix, 1981)
    Delicatessen (Caro/Jeunet, 1991)
    The Hunger (Scott, 1983)
    Pineapple Express (Green, 2008)
    Chungking Express (Wong, 1994)

  5. #5
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    9,853
    This was very good, and I love Del Toro (Crimson Peak is an absolute classic), but I think his taste for overt sentimentality is a bit much for me at times. I also don't like that his villains seem to have every bad attribute he can think of - this is something I've disliked about this type of antagonist since Devil's Backbone. It's not enough that he's a violent racist, he also has to be a chauvinist at home. It would have been more interesting for me if he was a good family man who took his violent tendencies outside.

  6. #6
    Evil mind, evil sword. Ivan Drago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    6,994
    Quote Quoting Henry Gale (view post)
    If and when this becomes an awards frontrunner, I'll love the fact that for all its prestige and beauty, it's also such a fundamentally weird, gnarly, gory, creature feature underneath it all.
    This is an aspect of the film that I can't wait to see for myself. I've had to avert my eyes or get popcorn when I see the more violent trailers because they reveal too much. The only one I'll watch is the first one that sells the sci-fi/fantasy fairy tale side of the story, which looks absolutely beautiful. To read you gush about it only makes me more excited!
    Last Five Films I've Seen (Out of 5)

    The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse (Mackesy, 2022) 4.5
    Puss In Boots: The Last Wish (Crawford, 2022) 4
    Confess, Fletch (Mottola, 2022) 3.5
    M3GAN (Johnstone, 2023) 3.5
    Turning Red (Shi, 2022) 4.5
    Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953) 5

    615 Film
    Letterboxd

  7. #7
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    30,529
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
    Movie Theater Diary

  8. #8
    It's alright. I mean, it certainly held my attention for all of its two hours, and Hawkins is great (of course), but the period details are never remotely convincing (every set feels like a set inspired by other recent movies set in the '60s), and I never believed that a woman--even a horny mute one--would fall in love with this sea monster. In contrast with Cocteau's La Belle et le bête (or E.T., for that matter), here the asset has a pretty limited emotional range; he's more akin to an abused gorilla with a limited grasp of ASL than Jean Marais.
    Just because...
    The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg, 2022) mild
    Petite maman (Céline Sciamma, 2021) mild
    The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, 2022) mild

    The last book I read was...
    The Complete Short Stories by Mark Twain


    The (New) World

  9. #9
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,703
    In other news I saw this again a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it very much again! Chills and tears for all the same bits.

    A little, weird thing about it, which is maybe more about examining the gamut of how weird audiences find the romantic aspect of it, is that for all the talk I've seen in all sorts of outlets (from the more casual, vanilla all-around news to the more dedicated movie-only ones) of things along the lines of "Oh they really went there!!" with Eliza and the Asset's relationship, I honestly thought that, aside from Eliza's hand-made diagram to Zelda the morning after, that the movie keeps it pretty fairy tale-esque in its mythically quaint bestiality. And knowing how far these things have gone in movies over the years (even in say, the Del Toro executive produced Splice), when reading that sort of reaction between my viewings, I began to think I had maybe blocked out something more explicit than what the movie actually shows. But nope! It's literally just [
    ], letting the film leave it up to you to decide how much you want to picture it for yourself / question yourself.

    I will say that I think it says a lot the movie's overall storytelling power that it has connected as much as it has with that kind of narrative content. As in, with it now being a big awards season player (which means more to me as "The Time of Year People See Stuff Just Because They Hear It's Good Not Because It Has Titles They Recognize"), it's seemingly destined to be the first Del Toro movie that your aunt or whoever might see. And I'm sure upon them telling you they saw it, they will tell you they thought it was "interesting", leaning on the emotion of that word like a bed of nails.
    Last 11 things I really enjoyed:

    Speed Racer (Wachowski/Wachowski, 2008)
    Safe (Haynes, 1995)
    South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Parker, 1999)
    Beastie Boys Story (Jonze, 2020)
    Bad Trip (Sakurai, 2020)
    What's Up Doc? (Bogdanovich, 1972)
    Diva (Beineix, 1981)
    Delicatessen (Caro/Jeunet, 1991)
    The Hunger (Scott, 1983)
    Pineapple Express (Green, 2008)
    Chungking Express (Wong, 1994)

  10. #10
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Portland
    Posts
    19,723
    This would make an excellent double feature with The Lure.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (Noé, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  11. #11
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    The Yay Area
    Posts
    5,243
    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    This would make an excellent double feature with The Lure.
    Wow. You've been in a good mood lately.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Top Gun: Maverick - 8
    Top Gun - 7
    McCabe & Mrs. Miller - 8
    Crimes of the Future - 8
    Videodrome - 9
    Valley Girl - 8
    Summer of '42 - 7
    In the Line of Fire - 8
    Passenger 57 - 7
    Everything Everywhere All at Once - 6



  12. #12
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Portland
    Posts
    19,723
    Quote Quoting Pop Trash (view post)
    Wow. You've been in a good mood lately.
    Yeah, I absolutely adored this one. The main cast is uniformly excellent, with Hawkins and Shannon perfectly personifying goodness and cruelty. I've been working my way through Mad Men recently, so I was amused that it seemed to take place in about the same time period as the early seasons. Del Toro's design is gorgeous. It's a vivid, believable 1960's America with just a slight fairy tale twist. I'm someone who always rolls his eyes when King Kong movies try to sell me on a beauty and the beast kind of 'relationship'. But I totally bought into these two. Perhaps it's because del Toro convincingly communicates their needs and desires and illustrates how each character fulfills the other.

    It's on par with Pan's Labyrinth in my opinion, or at least close.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (Noé, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  13. #13
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    3,819
    This was a fine film, to be sure. Yet I can't help but feel like I wanted to like it a lot more than I actually did. :\

  14. #14
    Evil mind, evil sword. Ivan Drago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    6,994
    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    This was a fine film, to be sure. Yet I can't help but feel like I wanted to like it a lot more than I actually did. :\
    Same here. The characters just came off as stock characters to me, especially Octavia Spencer as the sassy black friend and Michael Shannon's God-fearing 1950s purist villain. Other than that, I was captivated by everything about it, from the story and cinematography to the soundtrack and visual effects. It's Del Toro's love letter to cinema, and a beautiful film in its own right.
    Last Five Films I've Seen (Out of 5)

    The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse (Mackesy, 2022) 4.5
    Puss In Boots: The Last Wish (Crawford, 2022) 4
    Confess, Fletch (Mottola, 2022) 3.5
    M3GAN (Johnstone, 2023) 3.5
    Turning Red (Shi, 2022) 4.5
    Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953) 5

    615 Film
    Letterboxd

  15. #15
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,843
    Not upper echelon for me, but engaging enough. The biggest problem to this film for me is how del Toro seems to give each of his main 1960s cultural issues about one or two lines of dialogue and then moves on:
    there's the critique of Americans willing to look the other way and concentrate on pretty musicals rather than the reality of the civil rights marches;
    there's the critique of how South Americans can, vis-a-vis the Asset, become Othered and be seen as less than human;
    there's the quick movement away from the Asset killing Pandora to everyone forgiving him (even if this happens, it felt rushed and not delved into);
    there's Zelda's husband, who quickly caves and gives the angry white man what he wants, but the film doesn't really reconcile this relationship between he and Zelda (especially if Eliza did "die") afterwards;
    there likely needed to be one form of linguistic language from the Asset that didn't mimic Eliza's teachings, so that he can feel like less of a trainable pet;

    I do like the look of the film well enough, and very much appreciate that the film's willing to embrace Eliza's sexuality far before her first contact with the Asset. In terms of a Beauty and the Beast story, it's a bit broadly drawn with Shannon's character, but del Toro has never been shy about appreciating broadness from his villains. And if the film had been willing to linger on the degree to which minorities are always the ones tasked with cleaning up messes, casting itself into other perspectives just a little more, it'd likely have worked for me more. It's hesitance to do so makes Zelda feel just a bit more one-note than she should.
    The Boat People - 9
    The Power of the Dog - 7.5
    The King of Pigs - 7

  16. #16
    It's at times heavy handed and confused thematically (e.g., not sure how Stuhlbarg's character ruthlessly killing that innocent security guard comports with the film's messaging). But I have to appreciate a film that is so on top of its details otherwise. The performances are perfectly calibrated, and there is a consistency and fluidity to the film's visuals that feels very rhythmic and soothing. The craftsmanship, in several respects, is pretty awe-inspiring. Hawkins and Jenkins deliver performances that are so completely engrossing on screen that you can overlook some of the film's more unrefined thematic elements. Paired with the film's rich visuals, this makes for a very enjoyable 2-hour experience.
    letterboxd.

    A Star is Born (2018) **1/2
    Unforgiven (1992) ***1/2
    The Sisters Brothers (2018) **
    Crazy Rich Asians (2018) ***
    The Informant! (2009) ***1/2
    BlacKkKlansman (2018) ***1/2
    Sorry to Bother You (2018) **1/2
    Eighth Grade (2018) ***
    Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018) ***
    Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) **1/2

  17. #17
    Producer
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    2,888
    I hope the fact that I don’t do and care for Film Twitter-style hot takes will not make this sound like I’m being incendiary just for the sake of it, but here goes: I was feeling every bit of La La Land’s last-year criticisms (that I obviously don’t agree with) during this. The reverent pastiches (without any of that one’s subversions), the overworked nostalgic charm (without that one’s ambition to update), and some "problematic" aspects, which I don’t exactly agree with this one either but am very surprised that it doesn’t get the same fiery reactions as La La Land in that department, since this really plays more into tropes -- I have seen mentions of Spencer’s character already, but I also nearly sigh at Jenkins’ arc, which is a throwback in the most tiresome way possible. And the merman never evolve into any real characterization, which may be the point, but that just renders the romance rather unconvincing, more like a one-sided infatuation with an object.

    I mention an avalanche of objections first, just to say now that they are almost covered whole by Sally Hawkins’ performance, which radiates charm, hidden strength, and tender nuance into every simplistic turn of the story. Hawkins feels at home in every half-baked element and makes it better enough, whether tending to the creature, standing up fiercely to Shannon’s one-note villainy, or slipping into the too-short-to-register musical number. She and the production design really elevate the film to pleasantly watchable. But I have liked-to-loved all of del Toro’s films up to this point, so it’s disappointing that the film around her isn’t better (and bewildering that this is his breakthrough in term of awards attraction). 6.5/10
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  18. #18
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    9,853
    I think it's usually a rule of thumb that the movie that gets a director into Oscar territory is not going to be his finest work.

  19. #19
    Hodge shan't be shot Kirby Avondale's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    56
    Quote Quoting dreamdead (view post)
    Not upper echelon for me, but engaging enough. The biggest problem to this film for me is how del Toro seems to give each of his main 1960s cultural issues about one or two lines of dialogue and then moves on
    And Guill sure did biff the order of the Birmingham march and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Boy, I bet he's red in the face.

  20. #20
    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    I think it's usually a rule of thumb that the movie that gets a director into Oscar territory is not going to be his finest work.
    Notable exceptions: John Ford (The Grapes of Wrath and How Green Was My Valley), Michael Curtiz (Casablanca), William Wyler (The Best Years of Our Lives), John Huston (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre), Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter).
    Just because...
    The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg, 2022) mild
    Petite maman (Céline Sciamma, 2021) mild
    The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, 2022) mild

    The last book I read was...
    The Complete Short Stories by Mark Twain


    The (New) World

  21. #21
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    New Canaan, where to the shepherd come the sheep.
    Posts
    10,620
    And it's extra tricky when you're the Coen Brothers and most of your work can be argued to be your best work.

  22. #22
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    30,529
    This is a perfectly fine monster movie with some Marvel Comics style metaphorical progressive posturing but my issue is that it presents first and foremost as a love story and I found it woefully unromantic. The relationship is very boring even as a fairy tale romance. Beauty and the Beast put in more work in the lead couple.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
    Movie Theater Diary

  23. #23

  24. #24
    Boy, that article is terribly written.

    Almost everyone has swooned for Guillermo del Toro's lovely blend of fantasy, romance, monster movie, and classical filmmaker, however, there’s one director with a bone to pick.
    Jeunet brought up the two scenes to del Toro who brushed off the accusation, saying that they both have inspired from other directors, particularly Terry Gilliam.
    Who's the editor who let that go to press? It reads like it a Google translation of an article originally written in Romanian.
    Just because...
    The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg, 2022) mild
    Petite maman (Céline Sciamma, 2021) mild
    The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, 2022) mild

    The last book I read was...
    The Complete Short Stories by Mark Twain


    The (New) World

  25. #25
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    9,853
    Jesus. Jeunet, go direct a good movie.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
An forum