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The Shape of Water (2017)

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At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.

Director:

Guillermo del Toro

Writers:

Guillermo del Toro (screenplay by), Vanessa Taylor (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
129 ( 4)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 106 wins & 304 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Hawkins ... Elisa Esposito
Michael Shannon ... Richard Strickland
Richard Jenkins ... Giles
Octavia Spencer ... Zelda Fuller
Michael Stuhlbarg ... Dr. Robert Hoffstetler
Doug Jones ... Amphibian Man
David Hewlett ... Fleming
Nick Searcy ... General Hoyt
Stewart Arnott ... Bernard
Nigel Bennett ... Mihalkov
Lauren Lee Smith ... Elaine Strickland
Martin Roach ... Brewster Fuller
Allegra Fulton ... Yolanda
John Kapelos ... Mr. Arzoumanian
Morgan Kelly ... Pie Guy
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Storyline

From master storyteller Guillermo del Toro comes THE SHAPE OF WATER, an otherworldly fable 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. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Doug Jones. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

22 December 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La forma del agua See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$166,564, 1 December 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$63,859,435, 3 May 2018

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$194,349,972, 29 April 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

D-Cinema 48kHz 5.1

Color:

Color | Black and White (dream sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This project marked the first time director Guillermo del Toro had a female co-writer work on his script. See more »

Goofs

When Giles asks Elisa to turn off the TV because he doesn't like what's being shown, some of the footage appearing on the screen is of civil rights protesters being attacked by police dogs and sprayed with fire hoses. The most famous incident of such police attacks on civilians-and the likely source of the footage-was in Birmingham, Alabama, but it happened in May 1963, the year after the movie took place. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Giles: If I spoke about it - if I did - what would I tell you? I wonder. Would I tell you about the time? It happened a long time ago, it seems. In the last days of a fair prince's reign. Or would I tell you about the place? A small city near the coast, but far from everything else. Or, I don't know... Would I tell you about her? The princess without voice. Or perhaps I would just warn you, about the truth of these facts. And the tale of love and loss. And the monster, who tried to ...
See more »

Connections

Features Mister Ed (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Fashion Parade
Written and Performed by Roger Suen
Courtesy of El Cap Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Self-congratulatory and Gratuitous Despite Technical Triumph
4 February 2018 | by OtherShipwrecksSee all my reviews

Del Toro's gift for effective story-telling cannot be denied. However, the film plays perfectly into mainstream Hollywood sensibilities, does not have a profound artistic vision, and fails to challenge the audience in any meaningful way. It has the quintessential villain in the liberal cultural imagination today - a racist, sexist, ableist, psychopathic white man in the 60s. He lives in a bourgeois suburban neighborhood and has the quintessential white nuclear family. The fact that he is made to exhibit psychopathic behaviors is of course a way to obscure the irreducibly cultural, structural, and political conditions that the film purports to problematize. The equally cut-and-dry story is about people living at the margins of society bonding over their mutually subjugated status. The self-congratulatory moralistic undertone of this film suspends any need for serious cultural reflection. Shown to conservatives, the film is unlikely to have any converts to progressive politics. Shown to liberals, it will only confirm their pre-established identitarian convictions. Sprinkled with some gratuitous violence, it is the perfect candidate for the Oscars - a polished, glib, pandering, ostensibly radical fairy tale that ultimately does not have any enduring contribution to an already mediocre culture.


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