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Shape of Water, The

Director:  Guillermo del Toro
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  3.5

Mute janitor Elisa (Sally Hawkins), whose only friends are closeted artist Giles (Richard Jenkins) and fellow custodian Zelda (Octavia Spencer), falls for a non-verbal (but very intelligent) amphibian creature (Doug Jones) that's being stored in the government research facility where she works ... and she has plans to free him back to the ocean, much to the displeasure of malevolent agent Strickland (Michael Shannon). Del Toro pairs The Phantom of the Opera with Swamp Thing (my, he loves his Large Creatures) in what's an unlikely but magical love story: he needs to kiss the shoes of Ms. Hawkins and the rest of his excellent cast every day for making this tale resonate on an emotional level. It's an Outsiders-versus-The Powers-That-Be tale of triumph ... and hell, even a Russian spy (Michael Stuhlbarg) plays a part in Saving-The-Cat-Devouring-Monster. Is it just me, or does the one sketch Jenkins makes of Hawkins and Jones in the bathroom look a lot like the DVD cover of the Not-Safe-For-Anyone Urotsukidōji: Perfect Collection? This is freak-porn sanitized for the masses, and it's simply divine.

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