So to have a film in a speculative genre validated as fine art is an accomplishment not only for that film but for the entire speculative genres spectrum.
i also have a personal investment in this year’s Best Picture. I am absolutely enchanted with The Shape of Water. On the surface the film is a reworking of The Creature from the Black Lagoon. But when you dive deeper, the movie is about the marginalization of minorities, people with disabilities and those deemed as social outcasts. It’s about prejudice, discrimination and social class. It’s about fearing what isn’t understood rather than opening one’s heart & mind to possibilities. It’s about the power of love. It’s about finding beauty within seeming ugliness. It’s about appearances being deceiving and about beauty being within rather than without.
And all of these themes are told in an achingly beautiful way through the magic of movie making. Lead actress Sally Hawkins is mesmerizing as Eliza, a mute cleaning woman on the night shift at a government research facility in 1962.
Just as when Babe was nominated for Best Picture in 1995, rather than asking how a film about a monster won Best Picture, think how great a movie about an aquatic “monster” must be to have won Best Picture.
And then go see The Shape of Water.