Movie review: The Shape of Water (2017)
1. Rent and view one of the films from the list below. You should view the film at
least twice. Take notes as you go and pause and replay scenes that you
don’t understand or that you find particularly interesting.
2. Write a paper which answers the questions below.
a. For minimum credit answer all the questions below. Be sure to
number your answers.
b. More complete answers will receive higher scores. 7 or more pages
1. What is the true subject or theme of the film, and what kind of
statement, if any, does the film make about the subject? Which
elements and which scenes contribute most to addressing the theme of
2. How do all of the separate elements of the film relate to and contribute
to the theme, central purpose, or total effect?
a. Narrative – The manner in which the story is told. What is the
plot structure? Is it chronological or non-linear? Are there
flashbacks or other narrative devices and why are they used?
b. Acting – the qualities of the performances. Is the acting realistic
or is it mannered and formal? Are the characters dynamic (do
they change as the film progresses)? How?
c. Cinematography – The qualities of the photography and lighting.
Identify specific scenes and camera shots that you thought were
d. Editing – The pace and tempo, the use of transitions and the
organization of the narrative. Identify any editing technique you
thought was particularly interesting
e. Art Direction and Design – Locations, sets, effects, props,
costumes and make-up.
3. What scenes in the film show the director’s style and how do they show
4. What were your
reactions to the film? What are your
reasons for liking or disliking the film?
Brad Pitt Films:
Thelma & Louise (1991), Fight Club (1999), Inglorious
Basterds (2009), Moneyball (2011)
Amy Heckerling Films:
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Clueless
(1995), Icould Never Be Your Woman (2007)
Meryl Streep Films:
The Deer Hunter (1978), Sophie’s Choice (1982),
Out of Africa (1985), Post Cards from the Edge (1990), Adaptation (2002),
The Iron Lady (2011)
Guillermo del Toro Films:
Cronos (1993), The Devil’s Backbone (2001),
Crimson Peak (2015), The Shape of Water (2017)