The Shape of Water. This film’s most apparent influences are Creature from the Black Lagoon and Beauty and the Beast (two new versions of which del Toro had once been attached to helm).
But this variation on Beauty and the Beast makes what had once been sensual subtext overtly text. To put it bluntly, this interspecies love story is decidedly not platonic.
What could have been ludicrous or gross is instead something understandable and moving thanks to del Toro’s thoughtful execution and the endearing performances of this particular beauty and beast.