View Poll Results: The Shape of Water

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Thread: The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro)

  1. #26
    I will say, I thought a lot about Jeunet while watching this. And he was probably the only other director I was actively thinking about. Beyond those scenes, I guess, there are obvious tonal and stylistic echos.

    But filmmakers channel other directors all the time, so...shrug?
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  2. #27
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    I'm surprised how many people give this credit. I've seen the two scenes. It's an idea that could have been thought up by anyone and, even if it's an homage, it's a completely different scene with different characters and a different purpose.

    Am I crazy here? I just think this looks embarassing on Jeunet.

  3. #28
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    I do think it's a silly accusation about the scene in particular, but like D7, I could not stop thinking about Jeunet while watching this. It looks exactly like one of his movies, and I'm sure that fuels much of the basis of that scene comparison.
    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.’
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  4. #29
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    Likewise. I think the visual similarity is a weakness. The movie exists in a spectrum between "Delicatessen," "City of Lost Children," and "Hellboy." I've never thought Del Toro's films looked like anyone else's before.

  5. #30
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    What's funny is that I saw the headline about Jeunet accusing Del Toro of ripping him off and I thought, "Ah so it's not just me," and then I read the article with his actual accusation about the tap dancing and was like, "...What?"
    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.’
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  6. #31
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Now that you guys mention it I can see it in the color palette, but while I was watching it it was just a Del Toro film for me.

    Anyhow, if you're going to call out a fellow director on plagiarism charges you better have something more solid than a scene of two characters shuffling their feet.

  7. #32
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting number8 (view post)
    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.
    I think you articulated the reason I've been indifferent to it since I saw it back in September.

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  8. #33
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Yeah, you know what? I also feel articulated by that thought.

  9. #34
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting DavidSeven (view post)
    I will say, I thought a lot about Jeunet while watching this. And he was probably the only other director I was actively thinking about. Beyond those scenes, I guess, there are obvious tonal and stylistic echos.

    But filmmakers channel other directors all the time, so...shrug?
    Somebody on letterboxd described it as a "goth-perv Amelie" to which I thought "a goth-perv Amelie is kinda awesome." It also reminded me of the type of film Spielberg would make if he wasn't such a prude. And given all the criticisms of him, I actually really liked the shading of Michael Shannon's character. I'm pretty positive del Toro based him off of Sterling Hayden's character in Dr. Strangelove, and I liked all the bits of business with his taste in books and the intriguing sex with his wife.
    Last edited by Pop Trash; 02-08-2018 at 11:06 PM.
    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



  10. #35
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    I used to think the main flaw of the movie was Shannon's over-the-top villain, but 8 is right, it's actually the curiously undeveloped romance. They even went through the trouble of establishing that she's sexually starved to make it work better.
    Last edited by Grouchy; 02-09-2018 at 04:26 PM.

  11. #36
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    I used to think the main flaw of the movie was Shannon's over-the-top villain, but 8 is right, it's actually the curiously undeveloped romance. They even went through the trouble of establishing that she's sexually starved to make it work better.
    Maybe it's a case of lust rather than love. I'm ok with that.
    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. #37
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    I'd be very much okay with that if they made me buy it. But since the film cuts away from any sex scene (boooo... Show fish dick, don't tell) and instead includes a musical number where she sings how much she's in love with him, I chose to take that statement at face value, and it left me wondering why either of them would fall in love with the other.

    I guess I did like the reversing of Beauty and the Beast's Stockholm Syndrome. They had so much to work with that would cause relationship drama and chose to ignore all of them. Like, dude ate a fucking cat and everyone just shrugged it off.
    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.’
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  13. #38
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    I used to think the main flaw of the movie was Shannon's over-the-top villain, but 8 is right, it's actually the curiously undeveloped romance. They even went through the trouble of establishing that she's sexually starved to make it work better.
    I didn't read the masturbation as her being sexually starved, I read it more as her just being an explicitly sexual being. She enjoys her morning orgasm.

  14. #39
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Well, not that masturbation necessarily implies that someone is sexually starved, of course, but that combined with the rest of her life as portrayed by the screenplay would imply that she doesn't get much action.

  15. #40
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    Well, not that masturbation necessarily implies that someone is sexually starved, of course, but that combined with the rest of her life as portrayed by the screenplay would imply that she doesn't get much action.
    Maybe her signing "fuck you" to Michael Shannon was meant to be taken literally?
    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



  16. #41
    Since 1929 Morris Schæffer's Avatar
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    One of the year's best movies, but I echo some of the thoughts others have expressed. It's such a weird romance that it's difficult to buy into it all the way. I was moved and engaged, but that final pull, the one that would move me to tears, just wasn't there. I understand why this would remind others of a Jeunet movie, but I don't think that should be the basis of any criticism. It's just bitching because that's what people do, find reasons to start bitching. In the end, this movie should be celebrated for its remarkable visuals, not criticized for resembling the visual DNA of a director who's made dick all worth rejoicing about in the last decade.
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  17. #42
    Cya all later MadMan's Avatar
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    I really dug this, a lot. However, much like a few other great 2017 films I have watched, it needs a second viewing before I write any kind of review.

  18. #43
    Cinematographer StanleyK's Avatar
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    This was really underwhelming. I second the criticisms about the romance being unconvincing and the characters being two-dimensional. I get he's going for a fairytale feel but there can still be a little room for nuance. I feel that if del Toro had made Pan's Labyrinth 10 years later he would've made Captain Vidal a child molester who abuses Ofelia to really drive the point home. He exhibited some restraint back then which is totally absent here.

  19. #44
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    Something is off with the balance of this film. There's so much going on. If it's really the story of Eliza and the Asset's love, all the copious amounts of time spent on the various subplots distract, weaken, and crowd out what could've been an almost rapturous love story. That scenes with Strickland and Dmitri and Zelda and Giles receive so much time distract and weaken.

    Instead, we get each strand with a lot of detail but a philosophy of narrative efficiency that makes a lot of what could be deep read shallow. With del Toro's sweeping portrait of the American sixties, he wants to talk about nostalgia in both a fawning and a critical sense, civil rights, homophobia, patriarchy and masculinity, workplace harassment and misogyny, the vulnerability of black bodies, and yet still more on top of a Beauty and the Beast story about lonely misfits finding each other. These are smart and vital things to address, but I'm not sure stuffing them in in this manner is the best way to serve them.

    In a sense I've had with del Toro since Hellboy, I wonder if he wouldn't be better suited to write and direct six-hour miniseries realizations of his ideas. His love of detail crams a lot into the margins when I think it would benefit from giving characters and places opportunities to breathe and themes the chance to develop.

    There's a lot I liked, even loved, about this movie. But ultimately I'm disappointed and frustrated by it.

  20. #45
    64/100

    Basically runs at 70+ for the first hour, fuelled by Hawkins' great performance and a pleasingly adult view of a fairytale world, culminating in the genuinely unpredictable break out attempt (because of where it is located in the film, there is actual suspense generated from the fact that typically storytelling convention could allow either success or failure, whereas if it were placed firmly in the third act, success is much more likely), but then struggles to break 50 in the back half, as it runs out of ideas, forcing Shannon to overact desperately to drive drama of diminishing returns, and totally miscalculates the appeal of seeing a grown woman get it off with a fishy cipher that is basically presented as a mistreated puppy throughout and nothing more. That shit's just weird, bro.
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  21. #46
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    I don't think this is a great film or anything but I don't understand why people react so weirdly to the sexual aspects of the story. Is this your first time seeing a lady cuddle up with a monster in fiction?

    It reminds me of that famous Swamp Thing storyline where Swampy's girlfriend is on trial for obscenity.

  22. #47
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    I think the biggest discomfort is the ambiguous or seemingly lacking sentience/intellectual maturity of Eliza's love interest. As a friend put it, it'd be nice to see a use of language from the creature that is not wholly a repetition of what Eliza tells him. Is his intelligence like a human who simply doesn't know the language? Or is it like a dog?

  23. #48
    Quote Quoting Sycophant (view post)
    I think the biggest discomfort is the ambiguous or seemingly lacking sentience/intellectual maturity of Eliza's love interest. As a friend put it, it'd be nice to see a use of language from the creature that is not wholly a repetition of what Eliza tells him. Is his intelligence like a human who simply doesn't know the language? Or is it like a dog?
    I see this concern, but personally that ambiguity was key to my enjoyment of the film.

  24. #49
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    They tell us that the creature is a god, so I take them at their word.
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  25. #50
    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    I don't think this is a great film or anything but I don't understand why people react so weirdly to the sexual aspects of the story.
    Because (a) it is another species and (b) the fact the other species is portrayed as little more intelligent than your average German Shepherd.
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