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The Shape of Water (2017)

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In 3 theaters near Ashburn VA US [change]

In a 1960s research facility, a mute janitor forms a relationship with an aquatic creature.



(screenplay by), (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
5 ( 12)
Nominated for 7 Golden Globes. Another 12 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elaine Strickland
Mr. Arzoumanian


From master storyteller Guillermo del Toro comes THE SHAPE OF WATER, an otherworldly fable set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Doug Jones. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based on an idea by Daniel Kraus And Guillermo del Toro See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »


Release Date:

8 December 2017 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

La forma del agua  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$19,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$166,564, 3 December 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$231,008, 7 December 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Filming took twelve weeks. See more »


Giles: [interpreting Elisa] When he looks at me, he does not know - how - I am incomplete. He sees me... as I am.
See more »


References The Story of Ruth (1960) See more »


Written by Lauren Strahm and Tommee Proffitt
Performed by Fleurie
See more »

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User Reviews

🍷 🍕 Sunday, March 4, 2018...and the Best Picture goes to The Shape of Water!
10 December 2017 | by See all my reviews

Are you a movie fanatic?

Are you a movie lover?

Are you a hopeless romantic?

Are you a dreamer?

Do you enjoy films that clearly define good versus evil?

Do you wish to inspire our youth to do great things?

The Shape of Water is the fulfillment of all these inspirational beliefs. The scenery brings us back to a past time in our lives when life was simpler and hidden secrets were in abundance. The screenplay was written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. Their screenplay is both creative and at the same time haunting.

The cast was perfectly matched. Sally Hawkins plays Elisa Esposito a mute cleaning lady whose partner at work is none other than 2012 Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer who plays cleaning lady Zelda Fuller. These two ladies clean all day mopping up urine from the men's bathroom floor at a government run top secret facility in Baltimore. After work, they go home where Zelda cooks and cleans for her lazy no good husband, and Elisa spends her evenings alone in her bathtub pleasuring herself to the beat of an egg timer.

Then in walks Richard Strickland (played menacingly and true to form by Michael Shannon) with his 3 foot electric prodding cane, and a water contraption that contains some type of amphibious creature that can swim and live in both salt water and stand upright on dry land. Richard Strickland brings this strange beast to the Baltimore facility for scientists such as actor Michael Stuhlbarg who plays Doctor Robert Hoffstetler can study and examine the beast.

One very interesting character that I cannot fail to mention is actor Richard Jenkins who plays Giles, Elisa's co-tenant who both live upstairs from the local Orpheum theater. Giles character is lonely, he is a gay man, a commercial artist with great talent, but apparently without a bright future due to some previous drinking problem. Giles friendship with the mute Elisa is sincere and loving as they both are two lonely individuals looking for something more from life. Richard Jenkins character Giles, has some of the best one-liners I have heard in a long time. One such one liner was "don't play with the cats". You will have to see this wonderful film to appreciate Giles hilarious and timely comments.

When Elisa has an opportunity to meet the amphibious creature while cleaning the facility she immediately forms a bond with the creature. They communicate by hand gestures and by heart felt facial expressions which eventually lead to a romantic relationship. Michael Shannon's role as Richard Strickland is a take no prisoners type of character and he plays a despised overseer of the creature who punishes the creature at will and for his own pleasure.

Elisa realizes that if she does not react quickly to free the creature from his captivity he will surely die at the insistence and obstinate hand of Richard Strickland. So we the audience are kept in suspense on how will the meek and mild mute cleaning lady Elisa who has affection for the creature successfully save the creature?

I felt the escape plan was executed with great suspense and curiosity and contained some of the best scenes by writer/director Guillermo del Toro's vision that I would be surprised if this film does not win at least six (6) Academy Awards on Sunday March 04th, 2018, Oscar night.

Mrs Shullivan and I loved the film, and we were fortunate to be able to see the film with son number 2 and his set dresser girlfriend who contributed in making many of the films scenes so beautifully crafted and matched to both the musical score and the characters constant interactions that also happened to keep a full house of movie lovers in awe of your next Best Picture for 2018 winner.

A perfect 10 for 10 score!

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