Chicago Film Festival: The Shape of Water

Sally Hawkins in the film THE SHAPE OF WATER. Photo by Kerry Hayes. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.

The Shape of Water is perhaps the finest film ever to be directed by Guillermo del Toro and actress Sally Hawkins delivers a top-notch performance in the Cold War-set film.

With a screenplay co-written by  del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, the film stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg and Octavia Spencer.

Set in 1962, a classified asset is brought into a government laboratory in Baltimore where Strickland (Shannon) is hellbent on discovering how this will change the Cold War, for better or worse.  One gripe about Strickland:  how can he use the restroom and leave without washing his hands?!?  Meanwhile, Elisa (Hawkins) is drawn to this creature and a love story blooms from this discovery.  Spencer continues to show that she can do no harm as Zelda, one of Elisa’s co-workers.  Giles (Jenkins) plays a father figure role to his neighbor Elisa.

Drawing inspiration from the classic monster films, there’s a mix of everything in this film including romance, musicals and noir, not to mention the amazing visual effects in the film’s prologue.  Throw in the Cold War, Space Race, and Civil Rights movement and it’s a heck of a period to set this film.

The Shape of Water will screen as the Closing Night selection of the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival on October 26, 2017.  Fox Searchlight is set to open the film in limited release starting December 8, 2017.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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