‘The Shape of Water’ is the new film from visionary writer/director Guillermo del Toro, and is the story of a mute janitor, Elisa (played brilliantly by Sally Hawkins) who works at a research facility during the cold war era 60s. This isn’t any ordinary research facility though, as the boss of the facility (Michael Shannon) finds a creature, that has a resemblance to the creature from the black lagoon, they hold this creature at the facility for research. This film centers around the bond and the romance that Elisa and the creature form. This may sound strange to you but, this is one of my favorite films of the year and quite possibly my favorite Del Toro film. This is a beautiful film, in terms of the look of it and in terms of the story and its substance. I basically loved almost everything about this film. Del Toro does not disappoint with his direction. Like all of his films, the production design, the cinematography in this movie is all top notch. Every frame is like a damn painting. While all the visuals are what you come to expect when you walk into a Del Toro film, what I didn’t come to expect was how moved by the romance I was going to be. By the end, I was hit with such an emotional gut punch that I haven’t been able to get the film out of my head and the overall message of what the “shape of water” means. All the performances are truly exceptional. Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, and Richard Jenkins will all get nominated without a doubt. Doug Jones, who is a Del Toro veteran and is the Marlon Brando of practical creature performances, is amazing as the creature. And what’s so impressive about Del Toro, Hawkins, and Jones is that they really sell the bond and connection that Elisa and this creature have with one another without any dialogue. They both use their eyes and bodies to really sell the romance and it works beautifully. And that’s what this film is ultimately about: connection. It’s a film about how two living beings, no matter what they look like or any differences the two might have can fall in love or just for a connection. I don’t want to go into any more details of this film, mainly because I can talk about this film for a long time. But I also don’t want to spoil some things that happen because I think it’s best if you go in not knowing the many layers that this film has to offer.