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The Shape of Water

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After scoring the most Academy Awards nominations this year, The Shape of Water took home the top prize of Best Picture, in addition to Guillermo del Toro scoring Best Director and earning multiple other technical acknowledgments. The film faced competition from a variety of more recognizable filmmakers and actors, with the ceremony being the first exposure to the whimsical love story for some viewers.

Starring Sally Hawkins, Viola Davis, Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon, and Doug Jones, the film told the story of a mute woman (Hawkins) who worked in a government research facility and saw the abuse of a bizarre aquatic creature (Jones). Feeling like a monster her whole life due to her lack of speech, the woman strikes up a connection with the creature and plots his escape.

For those audiences who may have only checked out The Shape of Water due to its accomplishments, we know exactly which films you should check out next!

Last night at the Oscars we saw visionary and Konami adversary Guillermo del Toro walk away with both Best Director and Best Picture for The Shape of Water, his science-fiction fairy tale about a love story between a mute woman and an amphibious fish god, which is exactly as weird as it sounds. But also rather sweet, and an incredible film that deserves all its accolades and statues.

Since I missed The Shape of Water in theaters, I’ve been waiting for it to come out on demand, which it finally did this week. I managed to watch the movie literally hours before the Oscars started yesterday, and obviously I’m glad I did, given its wins.

It is pretty rare that science fiction movies are given film’s highest honors, but that speaks to del Toro’s talent, and now everyone’s naturally debating whether or not the film should have won. I won’t get into that specifically, but I did want to point out something about the film that I found interesting, something somewhat hidden and cool that I think was easy to miss when watching. Spoilers follow.

The film focuses mainly on the mystery of the creature. We know he was pulled out of South America where he was worshipped as a god by the locals, and he has some measure of regenerative powers, both on himself, and the ability to heal wounds on others (as well as do odd things like regrow hair on a bald man).

But I think the more interesting questions are not about the creature, but instead about Elisa, the mute lead of the film. Her background is what I find the most interesting in The Shape of Water, and something I’m still thinking about after the film