Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, The Shape of Water, as of Thursday evening, had a 95% fresh rating at critic aggregater, Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus, “The Shape of Water finds Guillermo del Toro at his visually distinctive best — and matched by an emotionally absorbing story brought to life by a stellar Sally Hawkins performance.”
All this for a story that is basically 21st century version of Creature From the Black Lagoon crossed with Starman (see trailer, below).
“As prodigious as del Toro’s vision and craftsmanship are, it’s Hawkins who gives palpable life to his deepest ideals, and their undertow of longing for connection, not simply as a matter of romantic love, but civic virtue.,” Ann Hornday, movie critic for the Washington Post said.
At the Los Angeles Times, critic Kenneth Turan calls the film a wonder to behold. “Magical, thrilling and romantic to the core, a sensual and fantastical fairy tale with moral overtones, it’s a film that plays by all the rules and none of them, going its own way with fierce abandon.”
With this positive initial buzz, studio Lionsgate is going all out for awards-season promotions, running ads in trade publication touting the film for Best Picture, del Toro for Best Director and Hawkins for Best Actress.
The Shape of Water is currently in limited release in New York and Los Angeles with plans to slowly add more theaters after over the next few weeks and after the holiday season rush. The film stars Sally Hawkins (Godzilla) , genre favorite and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon (Batman vs. Superman), and Doug Jones (Star Trek: Discovery), among others.