Reel Corner - February 2018

February is the Month of the Heart, Love and Romance

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February is the Month of the Heart, Love and Romance

“Unable to perceive the shape of you, I find you all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with your love. It humbles my heart for you are everywhere.” —The Shape of Water

Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon
Director Guillermo del Toro
Rated R

This film falls into the category of magical realism, which is a literature and film genre where the story is grounded in reality, but combined with elements of magic and fantasy.

The Shape of Water is part fairy tale, part genetically modified monster movie and altogether wonderful. Writer and Director Guillermo del Toro is filled with passion and it shows in his work. He draws from old movies, comic books, mythical archetypes and his own restless visual imagination to create movies that seem less made than discovered, as if he plucked them from the cultural past and given them color, voice and form.

This Cold War creature classic is about a strange beast—a quasi-fish human—discovered in the rain forest of the Amazon. The creature is brought to Baltimore in the early 1960s and kept in a tank in a government research lab, where he is subject to torture in the name of science and national security.
The “asset,” as his handlers call him, possesses no threat to anyone. He is, as wild things tend to be in the movies nowadays, an innocent at the mercy of ruthless predatory species, which is to say is mankind.

Enter a loose rebel coalition—a band of misfits who come to his rescue. The most important of these is Elisa (Hawkins), a member of the laboratory night shift cleaning staff. She feeds the asset hardboiled eggs, shares her music with him and soon falls in love with him, as well.

Mr. del Toro basically takes this interspecies romance all the way, and it is amazing how natural and un-creepy, pure and right he makes it seem.

The most welcome and notable thing about the movie is its generosity of spirit, which extends beyond the central couple.  Zelda (Spencer) and Giles (Jenkins) are not just supporting players. They have mini stories of their own, as does Michael Stuhlbarg’s scientist communist mole within the story.  
Last month's Golden Globe award for Best Director went to del Toro, but both Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins were passed over. Maybe the Oscars will be more in their favor. My vote is cast for The Shape of Water as the best film of 2017, and Best Actor performances to Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins.

The film award season is well underway…so we will see.
Very Happy February 2018…
may you find a special someone
where you least expect it.


Reel Corner 2Donne Paine, film enthusiast, once lived around the corner from the Orson Wells Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts where her strong interest in films, especially independent ones, began. Supporter of the arts­—especially films—she travels to local and national film festivals including Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca. There is nothing like seeing a film on the big screen. She encourages film goers to support Hilton Head local theaters—Coligny, Park Plaza and Northridge theaters. To support her habit of frequent movie going Donne is an executive recruiter and staff development consultant. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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