Oscar Watch: The Shape of Water

On day 2, the Venice Film Festival continues to showcase potential Oscar bait and today’s story belongs to Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water. Deemed a dark fantasy with lots of heart, Water has debuted to rave reviews with critics calling it the filmmaker’s best work since 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth. That film received nominations for Best Foreign Language Film and Original Screenplay.

The Fox Searchlight production isn’t out stateside until December 8, but the overseas buzz already makes it a contender in several Academy races. The pic’s cast includes familiar faces, such as Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer. Yet it’s lead Sally Hawkins, whose performance as a mute janitor who befriends a strange creature, who is being singled out. She stands a fine shot at recognition in lead Actress and it would mark her second nomination (the first was for Supporting Actress for 2013’s Blue Jasmine).

If Water manages to keep momentum generated from Venice through the year’s end, it’s entirely feasible that Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay (del Toro and Vanessa Taylor) could be in the mix as well.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…


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