In case you haven’t heard, Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro's “The Shape Of Water” has been picking up tremendous buzz after winning the Golden Lion at the 74th Venice Film Festival, which concluded on Saturday. It’s not surprising as early reactions to the movie, after it premiered at the festival on August 31, have been extremely positive. The lead actress of the film, Sally Hawkins, has been highly praised for her excellent performance, with some critics calling it Oscar-worthy.

‘Strange but lovely’- Daily Mail

Brian Viner of the Daily Mail writes a five-star review for the “strange but lovely” film. “A bizarre but hugely touching love story unfolds, yet at the same time the film is pulsatingly tense,” he writes.

He also compliments Sally Hawkins' work, describing it as ‘simply wonderful’. Viner believes that the performance deserves an Academy Award nomination.

‘Unquestionably del Toro’s best’- The Telegraph

Robbie Collin of The Telegraph also gives the movie 5 stars. According to Collin, “The Shape of Water” is del Tero’s best movie since Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), his most critically-acclaimed movie to date. He also raves about Hawkins' acting. “The London-born actress’s keen observational eye, technical control and puckish comic touch have been evident in (her movies)… but here they’re wed to an emotional intensity and shivery eroticism that make you wriggle with delight.”

Ben Croll of the Indie Wire credits the silent acting of Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones, which, according to him, certainly involved a serious technical challenge.

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On a similar note, Guy Lodge of Variety says that Hawkins' “robustly expressive face” compels the viewers to believe that Elisa and the creature belong with each other.

Synopsis

Set during the Cold War Era, “The Shape of Water” tells the story of Elisa (Sally Hawkins), whose vocal codes were severed as an infant, making her a lifelong mute. Elisa works as a custodian at a top-secret government facility with her colleague Zelda (Octavia Spencer), with whom she discovers an otherworldly creature (Doug Jones) held in captivity by government agent Strickland (Michael Shannon). Elisa, out of loneliness, develops a close bond with the creature that was discovered deep in the Amazon and dragged to the facility with the hope that it might give the United States an edge over the Soviet Union.

The dark fantasy thriller is set to be released on 8 December 2017 in the United States and 16 February 2018 in the United Kingdom. Watch the trailer for the highly-anticipated movie here.