The Shape Of Water: A Review

Getting my boyfriend to come watch a romantic movie with me is like trying to get me to not eat an entire bar of chocolate. It ain’t gonna happen! So I was pretty convinced I as gonna have a serious fight on my hands getting him to the cinema. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I  suggested  Del Toro’s latest Oscar hopeful as his immediate response was “Okay, the half five showing or the half nine?” YES!

You see, the thing is The Shape of Water isn’t just your typical romance, if anything it subverts the general notion of a romance and if anything that just makes it even the more romantic and the best part is, guys don’t actually realise they’re sitting there watching a film with the central theme of love.

The Shape of Water is the latest offering from critically acclaimed Guillermo Del Toro, the same man behind Pan’s Labrinyth and the Hellboy movies. Just like Pan’s, The Shape of Water is set against another war backdrop offering the audience the escapism so popular in current cinema. In contrast to the murky and bloody Spanish Civil War we saw in pan’s we are transported to 1960’s Baltimore where a lonely and mute cleaner of a secret Government laboratory lives and spends most of her time either with caring Gay neighbour Miles or her co-worker, Zelda. Spoiler alert: she tends to spend a lot of her time fingering herself in a bath….

When the government facility she cleans gets a new creature that has been captured by our antagonist Colonel Strickland, played by the devastatingly good Michael Shannon our curious protagonist Elisa forms a close bond with it after she discovers the creature is a humanoid amphibian . After the creature gets caught up in the ongoing Cold War between America and the Soviet Union with the Americans wishing to use the creature to help them get into space and USSR ordering their Soviet Spy at the base to destroy the creature. If this is starting to confuse to you, don’t worry! As both plots are wound together tightly by the end to merge beautifully. After realising what the Americans intend to do with the creature she’s become very attached to, Elisa plans to free him.


I’ve decided I’m not gonna go any further into the plot as I realise I’ve probably spoilt enough of this film for you guys!

The beauty of The Shape of Water lies with its visual appeal. The film is stunning, enough said. It’s an actual treat for the eyes. Del Toro knows how to seduce his audience, he knows how to grab at their imagination and ignite their senses. In terms of awards, Del Toro hands down deserves Best Direction. His perfect crafting of visuals and music combined suits every moment the actors make.

One thing that really springs to mind when watching this is the B movie and what probably inspired Del Toro slightly, Creature from The Black Lagoon. In a twist, the monster is the character that gets the girl which gives a fresh turn on the beauty and the Beast convention. Award gold if I ever did know it.

However, in terms of Best Screenplay I have to hand it to Shape of Water. Although it’s probably been one of my favourite films of this year so far it doesn’t do anything to the stellar script of Three Billboards. I think part of it is to do with the fact that our protagonist Elisa is mute which does take away from the actual dialogue but it’s a stellar turn from Sally Hawkins.

All in all, if you fancy a film that you wish to get lost in and also resonates with you, this is your flavour.


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: A Review

3 billboards

There’s one time of the year when everyone seems to go absolutely mental over drama’s in the film industry, awards season. Usually, I refuse to go see the films that are pinned for Oscar dominance, I tend to find them a bit too pretentious or they end up being a massive disappointment. sorry to be controversial but La La Land just wasn’t my cup of tea! However, awards season does seem to be the one time of the year making a drama actually seems to pay off for producers and investors.

This year I bucked my trend of ditching the Award buzzing films and decided to just give em a go! Starting with the hotly anticipated, Three Billboards…

Three Billboards tells the story of  Mildred Hayes, a grieving mother whose on a mission to find the man guilty of raping and killing her teenage daughter, this film is not for the faint hearted.

Out of frustration with the police department she rents three billboards in order to spark action in the town’s sheriff, Chief Willoughby, played by the fantastic Woody Harrelson. However, instead of motivating, the billboards  anger the townspeople including the sheriff and his racist and homophobic colleague, Jason Dixon.  To complicate matters further, as it’s common knowledge that Sheriff Willoughby is dying from pancreatic cancer the townspeople harass and even threaten Mildred and her depressed son in an effort to get her to take down the billboards, nevertheless, Mildred remains firm and stubborn to her cause which leads to both tragic and comic moments of dramatic perfection.

Three Billboards is the latest cinematic offering from the genius of Martin McDonagh, the same writer/director who brought us the deliciously dark In Bruges (2008) and Seven Psychopaths (2012). Just like these two, McDonagh is able to fine tune the balance between comedy and utter tragedy in order to truly get to an audiences gut.

However, Three Billboards is not just an Oscar worthy drama, it’s a film that speaks to the universal mass, its a tale of a Mothers love and how far it stretches, even in this films case, beyond death. As a young female who went through the traumatic experience of losing her own mother, this left a large lump in my throat.

Nevertheless, in true McDonagh style there wasn’t long until I was laughing  at something ridiculous the character had said or done. That’s the gift of McDonagh he offers audiences a truly human cinematic moment with themes in his films that can shock but also inspire and he does this once again with Three…

It speaks of revenge, of how dangerous and damaging the quest for it can be and it manages to blend it effortlessly with the beauty of forgiveness.  It’s a humbling and moving cinematic experience.

In terms of structure, as everything with McDonagh it’s down to a T. The worthy and enjoyable protagonist of Mildred who wants nothing more but to see her daughters’ killer brought to justice is the very beating heart of the film. What could very well become a very stereotypical portrayal of a Southern American town  which cleverly represents the antagonist of this piece actually becomes a lot more vivid and three dimensional. In the end, the film is more of  journey and the ending hits the perfect thematic note.

Overall, if you plan on seeing this in cinemas, I highly recommend you too. Even if you’re not a fan of seemingly low budget drama this film will not disappoint. A true Oscar contender if I ever did see one.




Beauty And The Beast in Birmingham!

If there’s one film that’s been in everyone’s minds these last few days it’s gotta be ‘Beauty And The Beast’. The highly anticipated remake of the Disney classic that stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast. Me, being a absolutely huuuuge Disney fan booked tickets to see the film as soon as I physically could. 

Me and my friend Tash decided to make a rather special occasion of it so I travelled down to Birmingham for some good old fashioned girl time! 

After a super early train, I met with Tash and we went for Breakfast together at Yorks Cafe. A gorgeous little cafe right by New Street Station which did the most delicious sounding breakfasts. Me and Tash opted for plain, old Jam and Sourdough toast with a cheeky glass of prosecco. 

After brekkie, we had a casual stroll around town and visited the beautiful Birmingham Cathedral. The lovely Dean had a little chat with us about the cathedral and she let us go right up to the stunning stained glass windows. After the Cathedral we made our way to the Art Gallery and checked out the Edwardian Tea Rooms, the architecture and design of the building made me feel like I was on The Titanic, it was so surreal.

After our cultural exploring we decided to get a few cheeky drinks before the film. We headed to The Alchemist for our first cocktail. I absolutely love the style of this bar and it’s menu is so original. You don’t just order a drink, you order a science experiment! I opted for the colour changing drink, which you pour yourself. It’s insane, you put the mixtures and all the dry ice froths over! 

After this, we then checked out The Jekyll and Hyde Pub for yet another cocktail! It was such a quirky and funky pub with a gin parlour upstairs and an insane Alice in Wonderland style beer garden! 

After all this exploring we were ready to sit back and relax. So we headed to the cinema. Tash recommended we The Empire Cinema in The Mailbox as it had sofas and waiter service meaning all’s we’d have to do is sit back and enjoy the movie in utter luxury. I really enjoyed the sofa seats in the cinema, it made the whole cinema experience so much more relaxing! Even the toilets were amazing, they reminded me of the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter! 

The film itself was absolutely gorgeous! All members of the cast were outstanding and despite my reservations over Emma Watson as Belle, she was brilliant! I was worried how the remake would match the original but it did it proud. A truly magical and enchanting Disney musical that was so stunning it looked like I was watching moving art! 

So in true Beauty and the Beast style I’ll end my blog with these words, “Tale as Old as Time, Song as Old as Rhyme, Beauty and the Beast”