The Shape of Water
Forged: sally hawkins, doug jones, michael shannon, richard jenkins
director: guillermo del toro (pan's labyrinth)
why it’s brilliant: this cold-conflict-technology fairy story rattles a g-rated romance between a human girl and an amphibian fish-man with splashes of r-rated truth. Elisa, a mute janitor at a hush-hush government studies lab, would not just pine for the model guy, she's sexually stifled, her delight scheduled every morning to the ring of an egg timer.
Her soon-to-be-lover, the ripped, otherworldly "asset" fought over by means of american scientists and russian spies, is a feasible lover, but sheds blood like some other tortured creature. Del toro doesn't cringe in any of the photograph info, but a classic hollywood contact, lush coloration palette, and air of innocence make this horror-adjacent tale of outsiders as candy as any disney flick. Oscar nominations: satisfactory actress, satisfactory assisting actor, first-class assisting actress, high-quality director, exceptional unique screenplay, high-quality cinematography, fine movie enhancing, fine sound editing, high-quality sound blending, fine production design, nice unique rating, pleasant costume layout