Fox Searchlight describes Guillermo Del Toro‘s new film, “The Shape of Water,” as an “otherworldly fairy tale,” which doesn’t usually sound like the stuff of Oscars, but let’s not forget that another otherworldly fairy tale by Del Toro, “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006), won three times out of six nominations. And from the looks of the official trailer, his new film might have the “Shape” of an awards contender. Watch it above.
The trailer gives us a glimpse of Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”) in an empathetic role as a mute woman named Elisa who speaks through sign language and gets a job cleaning a government laboratory. There she encounters a humanoid aquatic creature (Doug Jones, who played multiple creatures in “Pan’s Labyrinth”) who is the subject of scientific research and testing.
If nothing else, the trailer gives us glimpses of impressive production design, makeup and cinematography — those are the three Oscar categories “Pan’s Labyrinth” won — but if the film turns out to be an even bigger hit with the academy we might also see past Oscar favorites in the cast singled out in acting categories. In addition to Hawkins, the film stars Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) as Elisa’s co-worker, plus Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins (“The Visitor”), and Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road,” “Nocturnal Animals“) as a villainous government official.
“The Shape of Things” opens on December 8, right in the midst of the awards season. Does it look like a contender to you? Watch the trailer above and discuss this and more with your fellow movie fans in our forums.