The Shape of Water: Film Review

Guillermo del Toro‘s latest movie The Shape of Water has received rave reviews and so many awards nominations, so my expectations were pretty high – and it managed to exceed them.

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My top ten films from the BFI London Film Festival (LFF)

The London Film Festival is over for another year! I posted a lot of reviews from LFF over the past two weeks and it’s understandable if you missed some, so I’ve created a handy index with links to all my reviews, starting with my top 10!

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The Shape of Water: LFF Film Review

Guillermo del Toro‘s latest movie The Shape of Water received rave reviews after its debut at the Venice Film Festival and still has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes so my expectations were pretty high – and it still managed to exceed them.

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Liberal Arts: Review

This is a bittersweet tale of age-gap relationships and I thought it was wonderfully written and cast. Josh Radnor (Ted from How I Met Your Mother) did a brilliant job starring, writing and directing this quaint movie and it leaves you with a smile on your face.

Josh plays 30-year-old Jesse, who returns to his former college to attend a ceremony for his favourite professor (played by Richard Jenkins). While there, he meets student Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen) and they become friends with it gradually growing into something more. Jesse is uncertain and we see him quite tormented over being with her due to her age.

The plot really is as simple as that. There are a few side parts such as Jesse’s relationship with his professor, his old English professor, his local librarian, a college student named Nate (Zac Efron) and with a troubled teenager named Dean. The main focus is with himself and Zibby. They begin simply as friends but it becomes more than that after they become pen pals to cover the distance between them. When they meet face-to-face, it is awkward and you can tell that Jesse isn’t sure whereas Zibby is up for it.

I loved Elizabeth Olsen in this- she is sweet, charming and I just love how she talks. I want to see more of her movies now! I thought her chemistry with Josh was really good and that the topic of age-gap relationship was tackled well. I was disappointed at the ending and because of that; I felt the movie didn’t really go anywhere. It is still an interesting take on the subject.

I find it difficult to take Josh too seriously because I always associate him with Ted from HIMYM but it was nice to see him do something different. Out of his three roles in the movie, I am most impressed with the writing- his dialogue was witty, thought-provoking and really enjoyable. I found the character’s conversations really interesting. The best part for me was Jesse’s after-sex debate with old English literature professor played by Alison Janney, who was on fine form as always. He also has great chats to depressive teenager Dean, who he just meets by chance.

Zibby is definitely the most likeable character in the film. Elizabeth Reaser was underused and the casting of Zac Efron as hippie philosophical student Nate was just bizarre. I couldn’t take it seriously at all and was laughing the entire time.

This film is funny, sweet and you just hope that Jesse will put the age gap aside and be with Zibby. It doesn’t go anywhere but it takes a good look at life and relationships and is well written. I wouldn’t recommend a cinema viewing for this, perhaps just a quiet night in with some girls.