Friday, March 16, 2018

The Shape of Water

Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. Her life changes forever when she discovers the lab's classified secret -- a mysterious, scaled creature from South America that lives in a water tank. As Elisa develops a unique bond with her new friend, she soon learns that its fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist.
 Lori: I was walking into our local movie theater to watch a fashion show and this movie was letting out. A woman, also waiting for the fashion show, greeted a couple who were leaving the movie. "How did you like it?" she asked. "It was wonderful," the woman part of the couple replied while her male companion answered, "It was okay for another one of those angry woman movies."

I knew I needed to see it when I heard angry woman movie.

Now I have to tell you how terribly disappointed I am to say, this was not an angry woman's movie at all. What it was, from start to finish, was a disjointed mess that never reached any of its many potentials.

It could have been a beauty and the beast type movie since there was a romance between a woman and a monster but well, it wasn't.

It could have been erotic because there was sex between a woman and a monster but well, it wasn't.

It could have been social commentary with the racism, homophobia and and sexism scattered throughout the movie but it wasn't any of those things either.

It could have been high camp with the movie musical sub-theme  running throughout but you guessed it: nope.

The story simply put: mute woman falls in love with fish man. Straight, white men are evil. Russian scientist is good guy but bad also because he's Russian. Black people are convenient as secondary characters and straight, black men are not good either (the only black men are the husband of Eliza's friend who is lazy and a coward and the men at work who moved the camera from the loading dock so they can smoke and avoid working) (yep, racist much?)

I really can't comprehend how this movie won an Oscar. It sincerely had no shape, no depth and no reason.

Carolyn, what did you think?

Carolyn:  I bought this movie with remnants of The Swamp Creature drifting around in my brain.  But I thought, 'this is 2018, this will be a much more sophisticated movie'. But alas - it wasn't.

It was all very basic. The bad guys were really, really bad. The good guys were very good. The monster was noisy. Everyone was cardboard. The entire tale was a good example of an author doing that godlike thing that authors do to patch up a plot, can't think of the word. But that's how it seemed to me, especially the ending, which God forbid I should spoil.

I suggest you read R. Lee Smith's Last Hour of Gann if you want an example of a great lizard hero with good depth of character. Of course, he talked, not bubbled.  ;-)

And I have to agree with Lori: don't know why this garnered an Oscar(s). Was it a technical Oscar?

Lori: It won Best Picture which makes no sense since it should win Razzies, not accolades.

I wonder if it won because it was a feminist film and Hollywood is all up in the Me, Too movement. Nothing else really explains this mess.

And the fish man wasn't even hot. *sigh*

Please someone, disagree in the comments so I can understand why anyone liked this hot mess.


  1. I'd like to say I've seen it but I haven't, and after this review, I'm not likely to. I saw the preview, that was enough for me. Thanks for helping me save a couple of hours ladies ;)

    As to why it won an Oscar? Hell, if Nicole Kidman can win one for wearing a fake nose, then I guess a movie about a dodgy lizard man one can.

  2. I haven't seen it, but I'm going to guess that the committee wanted plausible deniability for not giving the best picture to Get Out.