The Shape Of Water
In 1962, a mute janitor develops a relationship with a sea creature that is the center of a series of government experiments, and attempts to break him out of the laboratory he is held in.
A love story between a human and a creature that resembles the Creature From The Black Lagoon is the type of film that few filmmakers could make you feel the connection between the two leads, but The Shape Of Water shows that Guillermo del Toro is one that can pull it off. Not just the central plot, but so many aspects of the film sound strange on paper, yet are executed perfectly. del Toro and Vanessa Taylor’s (Game of Thrones) screenplay spends time with each of the central characters, including Michael Shannon’s villainous Strickland and even the creature (referred to as The Asset), which makes them more interesting. The cinematography by Dan Lausten is also great, especially how each setting has its own feeling, helped by the different color tints. The relationship between Sally Hawkins’ Elisa and Doug Jones’ The Asset is at the center of the story, and you believe every moment of their relationship, which is the film’s biggest accomplishment.
A young aspiring musician travels to the Land of the Dead to get the approval of his great grandfather when his family rejects any type of music.
I think this is probably my favorite animated film in a while, just for the film’s message. It is something both kids and adults can learn from, which Pixar has always been great at providing. Of course, the beautiful animation and charming voice acting can’t go without mention, with the former being the best I’ve seen an animated feature provide in a while. In addition, each of the characters are distinct in personality and design. And the music, both the score by Michael Giacchino and the original songs, will stay in your head for a long time.
The Disaster Artist
The Disaster Artist is the true story of the making of the 2003 cult film “The Room”.
Somehow, the most inspiring film I’ve seen this year is about the making of what is considered the best worst film ever. The Disaster Artist leaves out a lot from the book it is based on, but James Franco (who directs and stars as Room director and star Tommy Wiseau) still manages to tell the story in full detail. The great thing about this film is how it doesn’t go for an intentional “so bad it’s good” feel that The Room has, and plays it serious. Franco portrays Wiseau as intimidating and rather unlikable at moments, but still someone you can surprisingly root for. The rest of the cast is also good, even if they don’t receive as much screen time as Tommy and Greg Sestero, who is played by James’ brother Dave. It’s a film that made me want to write and direct even more after seeing it, and could make you want to pursue your passion more after seeing it as well.