I really, really wanted to see The Shape of Water because everything about it felt like Guillermo del Toro was going to go back into the creative space that he was in when he made Pan’s Labyrinth. I loved Pan’s Labyrinth so much that I have compared all of del Toro’s work to it, and always judging him and found him wanting. I wanted him to constantly give me films like that and it was unfair.
But then, here he was with The Shape of Water and I just felt that my dream would come true. And he delivered, in spades.
Sally Hawkins is the anchor that holds all of this together. del Toro wrote this film specifically with her in mind and all the moving parts of the film — from the fine supporting cast, to the detailed and wonderful production design, to the script and direction — are all hinged on Hawkins’ performance. And she does it so wonderfully.
Originally, I had struggled very hard for my choice for Best Actress and wanted Margot Robbie to win. But now, I wouldn’t mind a Sally Hawkins win as well. Except they’d probably give it to McDormand.
And I’m surprised by the Michael Shannon snub. Richard Jenkins is good but I would think that Michael Shannon had the more demanding role and the richer performance.
I also wish that this film would win Best Picture. I really do.