Beard Blog Movie Review: The Shape of Water (2017)

Academy Award Winner: Best Picture – 2018

shape of water
The beast and the beauty

The Shape of Water is a fantasy love story about an amphibious god and a mute woman, taking place during the Cold War era. It’s a very simple movie that seems to draw some inspiration from The Beauty and the Beast tale. 

The Shape of Water is filled with glorious scenes of cinematography and color.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, and Octavia Spencer. Sally Hawkins plays a mute middle-aged woman named Elisa who lives alone and works the night shift at a Navy research center near DC. Her neighbor, played by Richard Jenkins struggles with both his sexuality and his art career. Elisa and her neighbor Giles find comfort in each other during various struggles in this film.

Michael Shannon plays an eccentric antagonist who is set to torture and kill the amphibian man.

The Shape of Water is filled with glorious scenes of cinematography and color. The story is a little weak in the fact that we have no idea why the government wants this thing or what Elisa’s backstory is. There’s a lot of moving parts put into this two hour movie, but by the end, we’re left wanting more information about what just happened.

It’s easy to see what The Shape of Water won this year’s best picture award, but all in all it proved to be a weak year in terms of everlasting classic movies.

Who should see this movie? Fans of fantasy love stories, people who like the previous work of Guillermo del Toro, and if you want to see what the best movie of the year is.

Who shouldn’t see this movie? People who can’t grasp the fact of a “human” loving a “beast” and children because of sexual content.

Score

8 / 10 – A great movie overall, still not convinced it was this year’s best. After watching The Shape of Water you might find yourself saying “That was weird…”.

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Spoilers

 

Caution! Spoilers ahead.

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Oscar Nominations 2018

The 90th annual Academy Awards airs Sunday March 4, 2018 on ABC

Here are my picks for this years Oscars. These are not my predictions (those will come later). These are my votes as if they let me into the Academy.

Oscars

*Unfortunately, I have not see all the films listed below as of writing this (which could change), so I only voted for those I have seen.

My picks are highlighted in gold.  Visit the links to see my reviews.

  • Best Picture
  • Actor in a Leading Role
    • Timothy Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name
    • Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread
    • Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
    • Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
    • Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq.
  • Actress in a Leading Role
    • Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water
    • Frances McDormand – Three Billboards…
    • Margot Robbie – I, Tonya
    • Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird
    • Meryl Streep – The Post
  • Actor in a Supporting Role
    • Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project
    • Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards…
    • Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water
    • Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World
    • Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards…
  • Actress in a Supporting Role
    • Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
    • Allison Janney – I, Tonya
    • Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread
    • Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
    • Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water
  • Directing
    • Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk
    • Jordan Peele – Get Out
    • Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
    • Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread
    • Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
  • Writing (Adapted)
    • Call Me by Your Name – James Ivory
    • The Disaster Artist – Nuestadler & Weber
    • Logan – Frank, Mangold, and Green
    • Molly’s Game – Aaron Sorkin
    • Mudbound – Williams & Rees
  • Writing (Original)
    • The Big Sick – Gordon & Nanjani
    • Get Out – Jordan Peele
    • Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig
    • The Shape of Water – del Toro & Taylor
    • Three Billboards… – Martin McDonough

Beard Blog Movie Review: Lady Bird (2017)

Lady Bird, time to fly.

lady bird
Saoirse Ronan as “Lady Bird”

Lady Bird is an odd-titled coming of age story set in the early 2000s. The film follows Christine “Lady Bird” MacPherson played by Saoirse (Sir-sha) Ronan as she navigates high school, sex, family, and getting into college. 

“With great writing and even better acting Lady Bird will be a film to remember.”

To put in bluntly, Lady Bird is a roller coaster of emotions. You get the sense of how tough it is to be a teen getting ready to enter the real world. This film feels very nostalgic to me, mainly because I was also in high school in the early 2000s.

Lady Bird offers laughter, tears, hatred, and compassion. There’s rarely an emotionless scene. You won’t get a lot of sugar-coating or TV sitcom scenarios. This film delivers a lot of truths and a lot of real family experiences.

Saoirse Ronan is fantastic in Lady Bird. She will be deserving of a Best Actress nominee for this role. Throughout the whole movie Ronan’s character is ever-changing and she plays those changes so very well. Normally she has a thick Irish accent, but I would have never guessed that from this role.

Laurie Metcalf, who I grew up watching play Rosann’s sister, is fantastic as Christine’s mother. She’s tough and loving, just like all the best moms. Her character’s actions at the end of the movie really pull on the heartstrings.

The rest of the cast was amazing as well. The director, Greta Gerwig, who also wrote the script, did a great job delivering the emotion to the screen. With great writing and even better acting Lady Bird will be a film to remember.

Who should see this movie? People who like realistic tales, viewers who want to see great screen acting, and “coming of age” fans.

Who shouldn’t see this movie? Young children and people who don’t have a heart. This is another movie I feel that almost everyone needs to see.

Score

9 / 10 – I loved this movie. Everything about it makes me smile. Great movies impart lots of emotion and Lady Bird does just that.

 

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