The Shape of Water ★★★

"another day volunteering at the big secret lab. everyone keeps asking me if they can fuck the merman. buddy, they wont even let me fuck it."

a ravishingly fresh adult fairy tale from Guillermo del Toro, and with it a frustratingly familiar problem: SO many beautiful ideas, such incredible artistry, and yet I felt *nothing.*

Sally Hawkins is phenomenal, the creature work is peerless, the genre-hopping is frequently electric, and so much of what the film has to say about the nature of love (and the banality of cynicism) is right on the money, and yet… and yet. it's all just pretty damp. bought the principle of the central romance, but never felt it had any weight to it whatsoever. Michael Shannon is a total bore. the end arrives with a whimper.

as always, i'd MUCH rather spend two hours talking to del Toro about his movie than actually watching it. sigh.