Guillermo del Toro recently picked up a Golden Globe for Best Director for his latest sci-fi/fantasy film – a Beauty and the Beast-style love story, about a mute cleaning woman (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with, and then rescues, an amphibious humanoid reminiscent of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, from a 1960s Cold War-era secret government research facility.
del Toro’s wildly imaginative visuals are now his calling card, and this film is no exception. Hawkins, Octavia Spencer as her now trademark sassy co-worker, and Michael Shannon as the unraveling evil villain, all do a great job. But this bizarre love story, about finding love amidst loneliness and in the strangest of places, never quite gels and feels a bit too shallow and derivative to be relatable for most moviegoers. In fact, Hawkins delivers a way more impactful performance in 2017’s Maudie.
Fans of Pan’s Labyrinth fear not – the 2006 Oscar winner’s position as del Toro’s best film is still VERY safe. B-