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24 | January 25, 2018 |

24 | January 25, 2018 | The glenview lantern glenview life & arts the glenview lantern | January 25, 2018 | 25 rating: 8.1/10 | genre: Drama/fantasy| run time: 123 minutes ‘The Shape of Water’ blends monsters, love Kathy Clemens Contributing Columnist Glenview resident Guillermo del Toro is well known for his dramatic storytelling, beautifully shot scene sequences and slightly off-kilter imagining when unfolding his tales, which include the critically acclaimed “Pan’s Labyrinth.” His work often features the darker elements of fantasy and fairy tales, which are embodied in his newest film, “The Shape of Water,” in the love story between a mute cleaning woman and the captive aquarian creature who captures her heart. Sally Hawkins is not the typical ingénue cast as the heroine in a romantic setting, but she’s perfect for the role of Eliza Esposito. Her expressive features clearly convey every ounce of emotion that she’s feeling at any given moment, which in this case is a necessity because she cannot speak and relies on signing, body language and facial expressions to communicate her thoughts. Also placed in a role that requires communication without words, Doug Jones somehow manages to give his “sea monster” the means to express his own thoughts despite being buried in costume, latex and CGI effects. A tilt of his head or a gentle fan of his hands is enough, and it’s an impressive piece of acting. The interaction between these two is wonderfully played and superbly directed. A lovely turn by Richard Jenkins as Giles, Eliza’s artist neighbor feeling his way as a gay man during his later years, provides depth and warmth that make his character visceral and honest. Michael Shannon heads the other way in his portrayal of Strickland, the brutal head of security who holds the creature captive so it can be studied. While Shannon has an impressive string of evil antagonists on his resume, they are always nuanced and different, and this dead-eyed, candy-eating, racist thug resonates particularly well. Octavia Spencer, as fellow cleaning staff member Zelda, talks enough to make up for the nonspeaking roles, and as an integral part of the plotline, she is always fun to watch on screen. All of these players are lonely outsiders in some way, cast aside by the changing tides of society and desperately trying to find a connection, be it human or otherwise. The isolation is displayed carefully, from Eliza’s solo bus rides during the night to Giles’ melancholy trips to a pie shop to adore his counterboy crush from afar. Even surrounded by his wife and two children, Strickland is very much alone, his one-sided crusade blinding him to those around him. Del Toro is meticulous in his set direction, and was very specific about the details in this film, which he purposefully set in 1962 to embrace the social upheaval that was looming, from the civil rights movement to the onset of technological advancements. The clothing, the cars, the television programming — every item in each scene contributes to this overall sense. Especially intuitive are the music selections, as Giles’ fondness for movie musicals provides the soundtrack for the interaction between the characters and their eventual courtship. The decade was a time that made great progress, but also a time of great divisiveness — much is made “us” versus “them.” The characteristics and qualities of individuals define who they are, and as it turns out, the humans are usually more monstrous than the monster. NO DRUGS. NO SURGERY. NO PAIN. APPROVED OVER 93% SUCCESS RATE Get connected to the most innovative pain treatment. Give your knees the cushioning and relief they need. Made from a natural substance GELSYN3 is a new FDA Approved treatment. Covered by Medicare and most insurances. “The Shape of Water” hit theaters on Dec. 1. PHOTO SUBMITTED NOW OPEN DOWNTOWN HIGHLAND PARK Glenview, Vernon Hills, Bloomingdale & Hinsdale 847.243.6744