2018 (UK), Drama/Thriller, 2h 3m
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon & Richard Jenkins
Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. Her life changes forever when she discovers the lab’s classified secret — a mysterious, scaled creature from South America that lives in a water tank. As Elisa develops a unique bond with her new friend, she soon learns that its fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist.
I do not understand how this movie had so much hype? Yes, it has spirit, yes it’s setting is nice and it is visually interesting – but that’s about it.
People scream about originality but it’s basically just a retelling of the overdone ‘unlikely romance of a Beauty and a Beast’. Hawkins wasn’t all that great – to play a mute you must get your emotions across by other methods and she fell flat – it’s unbelievable she was in the running to win best actress but yet Robbie, Chastain and Plaza were snubbed.
There were many pointless and unnecessary ‘Oscar bait’ sub-plots such as one featuring homophobia (tick) and one featuring racism (double tick).
This movie isn’t a waste of time if you’re a Del Torro fan, but don’t be expecting anything on the same level as Pans Labyrinth.