The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro, Oscar for Best Film in 2018, is broadcast tonight on France 2. Discover our three reasons not to miss this work!

Astonishing fantastic and romantic tale, The Shape of Water by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) won, at the 90th edition of the Oscars in 2018, no less than four golden statuettes, including that of the best film and the music earned Alexandre Desplat his second Oscar for best composer. Even if Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the director of Amélie Poulain, reproached his colleague Guillermo del Toro for plagiarizing his films, The shape of water remains a fascinating work of which we reveal the behind the scenes of the creation of the creature. Discover our three reasons to (re) see this film!

In this phantasmagoria, the pope of geek culture Guillermo del Toro signs a kind of modern version of Beauty and the Beast. Here, the Mexican filmmaker tells an extraordinary and unnatural love story. In 1962, in Baltimore, Elisa (Sally Hawkins, perfect), a silent young woman, leads a solitary life. A maintenance agent in a top-secret government laboratory in the midst of the Cold War, this employee one day discovers in a hidden corner of the bunker a basin which holds captive an amphibious creature, captured for sinister purposes by the American army. Braving the prohibitions, the cleaning lady will gradually tame this fishman … and fall in love with him. A superb fairyland!

A homage to The Strange Creature of the Black Lake, a 1954 3D film, The Shape of Water stars a scaled monster whose appearance designer Mike Hill worked on for a year. Guillermo del Toro asked this sculptor to give him big eyes, but also a sexy aspect, with in particular a muscular body. And an almost… erotic appearance. Slimy, with gills and a luminescent and translucent skin, this sea monster, captured in a river in the Amazon where the natives worshiped him as a god, is embodied on the screen by the favorite actor of Del Toro, the mime and contortionist Doug Jones. The latter had already played a kind of newt, Abe Sapien, brought to the screen by the Mexican director in Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy II, the accursed golden legions (2008).

With this strange romance, Del Toro proves that love knows no bounds. And stays true to his favorite theme: the humanity of monsters and the monstrosity of man. This film made during the Trump era is also a plea for tolerance, which gives voice to America’s left behind: the heroine is a cripple, her colleague (Octavia Spencer), a black woman suffering humiliations , and his next door neighbor (Richard Jenkins), an aging illustrator struggling with his homosexuality. Deeply altruistic, this refreshingly naive work refuses all cynicism. It is an ode to difference, a charge against all forms of exclusion, which touches on universality.

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