‘The Shape of Water’ Guillermo del Toro’s Magical Fairy Tale About True Love


Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

This is truly one of the most unique love stories you will ever see. It’s also one that is absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing, and once again shows us the genius of  Guillermo del Toro (Pans Labyrith).

Sally Hawkins brilliantly plays Ella, a mousy, curious, gentle woman who has been mute since childhood  She works the night shift as a janitor at the Occam Aerospace Research Center. The year is 1960. The place is Baltimore.

At first glance, Ella seems to be very lonely. Her only close friend is her neighbor, Giles (Richard Jenkins), and her co-worker, Zelda (Octavia Spencer). But at the same time, she never feels sorry for herself. This is a woman who loves life and takes pleasure in even the smallest of things.

One day, the Research Center receives an Asset (Doug Jones) that was discovered in one of the rivers of South America by an extremely sadistic Colonel, Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon). The Asset is actually an amphibious man who must live in water.

Ella is fascinated by the creature and one day she sneaks into the enclosure that houses him and starts feeding him hard boiled eggs and sharing music through records played on a portable turntable. In time the two of them become very close.

Strickland’s superior General Hoyt (Nick Searcy) is very interested in the creature’s biology and wants his body harvested to study it for the advancement of space travel. Meanwhile one of the center’s scientist, Robert Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlberg)  pleads with Hoyt and Strickland to let the creature live, but  it’s to no avail.

Elsa overhears this and enlists her friends Giles and her Zelda to help break the creature out in order to save his life.\

What transpires next is so unexpected and so wonderful. This is an adult erotic fairytale love story filled with sensuality and great artistry. It is definitely one of Del Toro’s best films and should not be missed.

‘The Shape of Water’ opened in theaters on December 1, 2017. Come Oscar time, Sally Hawkins and Del Toro will definitely be nominated for their work.


Joan Alperin

About Joan Alperin

Joan was born in Brooklyn and spent many years working as an actress in New York City. Even though she traveled extensively, Joan couldn't imagine living anywhere else.. Well one day, she met someone at a party who regaled her with stories about living in L. A. specifically Topanga Canyon. A few weeks later she found herself on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. Joan immediately fell in love with the town and has been living here for the last twenty years and yes, she even made it to Topanga Canyon, where she now resides, surrounded by nature, deer, owls and all kinds of extraordinary alien creatures.. Joan continued acting, but for the last several years (besides reviewing plays and film) she has been writing screenplays. Joan was married to a filmmaker who created the cult classic films, (way before she knew him) Faces of Death. As a result of his huge following, they created a funny movie review show entitled Two Jews on Film, where Joan and her husband, John would review movies and rate them with bagels You can see their reviews by going to youtube.com/twojewsonfilm. Although it's now only one Jew - Joan is occasionally joined by her beautiful Pekingnese and Japanese Chin.
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2 Responses to ‘The Shape of Water’ Guillermo del Toro’s Magical Fairy Tale About True Love

  1. Susan Penn says:

    Complete, concise and just enough to entice me!

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