Guillermo del Toro's new film The Shape of Water premiered at the Venice Film Festival last night (August 30), and early buzz says that one of our most beloved modern filmmakers may have a new classic on his hands.
As we write this, there are 14 positive reviews up on Rotten Tomatoes, giving the movie -- a love story between a mute human woman and a humanoid creature from the sea -- a perfect 100 percent rating. That's almost inevitably bound to change, but what's exciting is that the reviews that are up are almost all flat-out raves.
Variety: "A ravishing, eccentric auteur's imagining, spilling artistry, empathy and sensuality from every open pore, it also offers more straight-up movie for your money than just about any Hollywood studio offering this year."
The Daily Beast: "The Shape of Water casts a spell over its audience from its opening moments and holds you in its thrall long after the credits have rolled."
The Playlist: "It's a film that makes you feel a lot, but overridingly you feel lucky - lucky to be watching it, lucky that something so sincerely sweet, sorrowfully scary and surpassingly strange can exist in this un-wonderful world."
Screen Daily: "Guillermo del Toro channels all the streams that make him unique into The Shape Of Water, pouring his heart, soul and considerable craft into an exquisite creature fable."
Deadline reports that the film received a long and sustained ovation as the credits rolled, and that the press conference this morning after the film's premiere got off to a delayed start because the reporters in the room would not stop applauding and hollering for the director.
Del Toro said that the film is "in love with love and in love with cinema," adding that while it's set in a 1962 Cold War military installation, "it's a movie about today."
The consensus seems to be that the film is Del Toro's best since his 2006 gem Pan's Labyrinth, and that his return to a more personal style of filmmaking after helming the big studio epics Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak has brought out the very best in the filmmaker.
The Shape of Water stars Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins. It arrives in theaters on December 8, which now seems very far away!