Film FestivalsMovie ReviewsThe Shape of Water – An Original Love Story

Keith NoakesDecember 8, 2017

ICYMI: My earlier review of The Shape of Water from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, originally found here.

Synopsis: From master story teller, Guillermo del Toro, comes THE SHAPE OF WATER – 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 is trapped in a life of isolation.  Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment. (Fox Searchlight)

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, and Richard Jenkins

Writers: Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Rating: 14A (Canada)/R (United States)

Running Time: 119mins


For showtimes and more, check out The Shape of Water on

This film is a tough one to pin down. It is part adventure, fantasy, drama, and romance but is most importantly a fairy tale where a lonely mute woman in the middle of the Cold War named Eliza (Hawkins) befriends an amphibious creature (Doug Jones) with whom she forms a bond that eventually became a lot more. It could have been set in any time period, however, this time period added to the story with its combination of old and new and the Cold War looming in the background. This was a beautiful film as well thanks to its color palette and great cinematography. The setting almost felt like another character in the story. The score was just as beautiful, injecting some much needed emotion to the story.

Being mute was not a hindrance for Eliza and that was more of a testament to Hawkins’ performance. While she didn’t have the luxury of words, she did an excellent job at conveying the character’s emotions through her facial expressions and body language. Hawkins made Eliza compelling to watch and easy to root for. Shannon continued his run of playing villains by providing another solid performance as Strickland. Jenkins stole many scenes as Eliza’s neighbor Giles.

Overall, this was a beautiful film with a story that was just as beautiful and was elevated by the performances, especially Sally Hawkins in the lead role.

Score: 9.5/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, follow me on Instagram, and also like me on Facebook.



  • dbmoviesblog

    December 8, 2017 at 5:33 PM

    Great read. I am so looking forward to this film and still do not understand why it should come out in the UK in February! Such a long wait. Also, thanks for a nice fab poster, I just cannot get enough of them – so romantic and eerie.

    • Keith Noakes

      December 8, 2017 at 5:37 PM

      Yeah, if I didn’t see it in Toronto, I probably wasn’t going to get it until January.

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