BFI Film Festival - The Shape of Water Review
This is proof that Guillermo del Toro is at his best when doing smaller scale films - this film is more in vein with Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone than his attempts at blockbusters. It's a relieving step up from the films he's done in more recent years.
It lightly borrows aesthetic from Jean-Pierre Jeunet (French guy who directed Amelie, The City of Lost Children, Delicatessen and Alien: Resurrection which was awful) - there's actually a quick tap-dancing scene at the beginning that's reminiscent of the bed-bouncing scene from Delicatessen.
Alexandre Desplat's score helps set the tone well - the lighting is great, cinematography is great - everything works on a technical level; though I did notice the editing was a little weird at times.
Sally Hawkins is great in this, but Richard Jenkins steals the show as her depressing and pathetic yet optimistic neighbour - there were times where he seems like he would belong in a Todd Solondz movie.
Michael Shannon borders on caricature - I'm not sure what to make of his performance.
The main downside is that I was stuck next to some doofus who kept laughing obnoxiously every time a mildly funny joke/one liner was said.