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The Shape of Water (2017)

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In theaters December 8.

An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Fleming
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General Hoyt
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Bernard
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Mihalkov
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Elaine Strickland
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Brewster Fuller
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Yolanda
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Mr. Arzoumanian
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Pie Guy
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Storyline

An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-securityo government labyrinth and oratory where she works, lonely Elisaô with (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forevuer when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discoverr a secret classified experiment.hri Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

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A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence and language | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

8 December 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Guillermo del Toro/Cold War Project  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Guillermo del Toro has worked on this film for several years, and developed it before he began production on Pacific Rim (2013). Eventually, he chose to direct this film instead of Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018). See more »

Quotes

Giles: [interpreting Elisa] When he looks at me, he does not know - how - I am incomplete. He sees me... as I am.
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Connections

References Mardi Gras (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thrilling, Touching and Surreal Exploration of the Heart; Both Human and Monster
23 September 2017 | by (Miami) – See all my reviews

To be seen and desired for who we truly are; it is the passionate wish of many. For Elisa, an unassuming and kind-hearted maid in a 1960s era government lab, this wish is granted in an unusual way. Virtually invisible and isolated, yet content in her little bubble, Elisa is lured from this comfort zone as she witnesses the arrival of a strange, monstrous sea creature in the lab. Despite warnings to keep her distance, Elisa sympathizes with the suffering creature. It is in chains and tortured by Strickland, a sadistic and violent government agent. This wild creature is impulsive. It responds to aggression with the same, and to kindness with kindness. As the cruelty of Strickland escalates, Elisa decides she must act to save the creature. Friendly and opposing forces emerge from unlikely places to help or hinder her. Love and light hinge on the erratic hearts of monsters and humans alike.

This thrilling, touching and surreal film explores the many forms and aspects of monsters. The worst monster of them all is the human heart, and yet it is also the most kind and beautiful. The film offers apt encouragement to speak up and act when others are in trouble and in pain. In this world of rising fascists who peddle hatred and opposition to science, art, sympathy and basically to all humanity, such encouragement is sorely needed.

With expressive eyes and strong empathy, Sally Hawkins is amazing and mesmerizing in her portrayal of Elisa. Michael Shannon is perfectly cast as the crude, cruel, sarcastic and controlling Strickland. In Strickland's sinful, selfish and negative world, the monster is better off dead. The supporting cast is wonderful. The film is full of depth and splendor. The Southern United States is the setting, yet the film was shot in Toronto. The theater that appears prominently on screen is the very same theater (the Elgin) in which I saw the film at the Toronto International Film Festival. I went into the theater with high hopes and was not disappointed.


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