the shape of water red band trailer

Another Toronto International Film Festival has been resigned to the dust, and it is time for us to look back on it and remember all the great (and not so great) films we witnessed there.

Truth be told, this year’s fest was slightly less exciting than last – the films were good, and some were even fantastic, but overall they did not pack as much of a punch as I’d been hoping. Still, it’s hard to deny the thrill one gets from attending TIFF; day after day, you spend hours upon hours watching films with audiences who are genuinely excited to be there, unlike seeing a film at your local multiplex, where the crowd could care less. If you’re covering TIFF as press, you rise at dawn, make your way down to the Scotiabank Theatre and spend almost the entire day there. It can be exhausting and draining, but it’s also wonderful.

For the sake of completion, I’ve compiled links to all the /Film reviews (written by me and Marshall Shaffer) out of this year’s TIFF, as well as a blurb or two for films that did not receive a full review. Here is every movie we saw at TIFF 2017.

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tiff

Another Toronto International Film Festival has come and gone, bringing with it a wealth of great movies and a few weirdly disappointing ones too. This usually sets the stage for the remainder of the year in film – the movies that generated buzz at TIFF will likely go on to be talked about ad nauseam come Oscar season. TIFF itself gives out awards as well, and the big winner was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which took home the Grolsch People’s Choice Award.

I didn’t see it. Sorry!

But I did travel to TIFF and take in a slew of memorable films, which I will now present special awards to for the sake of wrapping-up the fest. Some spoilers follow.

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the shape of water red band trailer

Love stories never seemed so magical until Guillermo del Toro paired together a mute lab worker with an imprisoned fish man.

The master filmmaker’s poetic, lush The Shape of Water made waves at the Toronto International Film Festival and Venice Film Festival, and its enchanting first trailer piqued many fans’ interest in Del Toro’s Cold War-set story. But Doug Jones‘ fish creature was mostly shrouded in mystery next to Sally Hawkins‘ lab worker Elisa. But the new red band trailer finally sheds light on the gilled creature who is capturing so many hearts.

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the shape of water

Thank the movie gods for Guillermo del Toro. One of our best living filmmakers, del Toro crafts gorgeous, poetic films that combine genres to great effect. No one working today is making movies like the Crimson Peak filmmaker, and with The Shape of Water, del Toro may have made his masterpiece.

The Shape of Water is a poetic love story set during the Cold War, after John F. Kennedy’s Camelot has come to a tragic close. “The end of Camelot [was] the peak of the promise of the future,” del Toro said, “jet-fin cars, super fast kitchens, television, everything that if you’re white, Anglo-Saxon, heterosexual, you’re good. But if you’re anything else, you’re not so good. Then when Kennedy is shot and Vietnam escalates, and the disillusionment of that dream occurs, I don’t think that has healed.”

This is a love story, yes, but it’s about so much more. As is his custom, del Toro builds an entire world, and populates it with memorable, believable characters. The Shape of Water is also a fairy tale, and all good fairy tales need a princess.

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guillermo del toro projects shape of water

Guillermo del Toro has a tendency to juggle several passion projects before some of them make it to the theater after an excruciating wait, and others fall by the wayside. (RIP Hellboy 3.)

But with his newest film The Shape of Water receiving rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival this week and coming to theaters later this year, the Mexican auteur can finally turn his eyes to his next dark fairy tale: Pinocchio.

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Shape of Water Reviews

Guillermo del Toro‘s dark fairy tale, The Shape of Water, made a splashy premiere at the Venice Film Festival this week, with early reviews lauding its lush visuals, incisive social commentary, and enchanting love story. It seemed like critics had only praise for the film, with each review gushing that del Toro’s 1960s-set fantasy could easily be his best film since his magnum opus Pan’s Labyrinth.

Starring Sally Hawkins, frequent del Toro collaborator Doug Jones (finally getting a starring role after playing monsters and extras in most of his films), Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer and Richard JenkinsThe Shape of Water is a love story between a mute lab cleaning woman (Hawkins) and a gilled fish creature (Jones) set against the backdrop of the Cold War.

Check out what some of the early The Shape of Water reviews have to say below.

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The Shape of Water Photos

Guillermo del Toro has created some terrifying human beings in his movies. Michael Shannon plays his next antagonist and I can imagine del Toro turning him into one truly terrifying presence in his fairy tale. The trailer already has me fearing what he might do to Michael Stuhlbarg, who after his fantastic performance in Fargo, I expect to be the recipient of more pain and suffering. Shannon’s character, Strickland (a strong villain name if there ever was one), is probably more interested in harming the fish-man (Doug Jones) he has trapped.

Below, check out Strickland, the fish-man, and more in some new The Shape of Waters photos.

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the shape of water

Two years ago, Guillermo del Toro‘s bold and brilliant Crimson Peak failed to find an audience in theaters, leaving it to attract its inevitable future following in the world of home video. Many wondered if the film’s box office failure was due to the marketing selling a straight-up horror movie while the actual film was a stranger, slightly less accessible beast. I still remember attending the film’s premiere at Fantastic Fest, where del Toro insisted that he had made a “gothic romance,” not a horror movie. He seemed well-aware that the film wasn’t being sold correctly.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise that del Toro took to Twitter today to clarify that his upcoming film The Shape of Water is not a horror movie…even though it’s about a fish monster…and even though it just received an R-rating from the MPAA.

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the shape of water

You can tell a lot about a movie based on when a distributor decides to release it into theaters. In the case of Guillermo del Toro‘s upcoming The Shape of Water, the newly revealed release date showcases Fox Searchlight’s confidence in this being a potential end-of-the-year awards contender.

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Doug Jones

For /Film readers, actor Doug Jones needs no introduction. You already know he’s the guy who embodied the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth, the Silver Surfer in the Fantastic Four sequel, Abe Sapien in the Hellboy movies, and dozens of other creature-driven characters over the past thirty years (And if you didn’t know, now you do!).

One of Jones’ upcoming films we’re looking forward to the most is another collaboration with writer/director Guillermo del Toro. It’s called The Shape of Water, and Jones has spilled some more details about what we can expect from del Toro’s mysterious, monstrous new love story.
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