The Shape of Water (film)

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The Shape of Water is a 2017 film about a custodian at a government laboratory who discovers a captured amphibious humanoid creature.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro. Written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor.


[Note: all Elisa lines are through sign language]

  • [to Strickland] F-U-C-K Y-O-U
  • [To Giles] If we do nothing, neither we are.


  • [From Trailer] The Natives in Amazon worshiped it. Like a God. We need to take it apart, learn how it works
  • [After Elisa offers him a towel] Oh, no. No, a man washes his hands before or after tending to his needs. It tells you a lot about man. He does it both times-it points a weakness in character.
  • [On the Abphibian] You may think, "That thing looks Human". Stands on two legs, right? But- we're created on the Lord's image. You don't think that's how the Lord looks like, do you?
  • I do not fail. I deliver
  • [Last words before his death] Fuck. You ARE a God.


  • If I told you about her, the princess without voice, what would I say?
  • [interpreting Elisa] When he looks at me, he does not know - how - I am incomplete. He sees me... as I am.
  • Get him out? What are you talking about? No!
  • [interpreting Elisa] I can either save him, or let him die.
  • You know, sometimes I think I was either born too early or too late for my life.
  • He's a wild creature. We can't ask him to be anything else.
  • [repeated line] This is some of my best work.
  • [to Elisa] Whatever this thing is, you need it.
  • But when I think of her, of Elisa, the only thing that comes to mind is a poem, whispered by someone in love hundreds of years ago. Unable to perceive the shape of you, I find you all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with your love. It humbles my heart, for you are everywhere.


  • Man is as silent as the grave. But if farts were flattery? Honey, he'd be Shakespeare
  • Some of the best minds in the country peein' all over the floor in this facility here
  • Short people are mean. I never met a short man that stays nice all the way through. No sir. Mean little backstabbers, all of 'em. Maybe it's the air down there. Not enough oxygen or somethin'.
  • [to Elisa] Oh! Woman, we gon' burn in hell!
  • [to Elisa] Yeah. That's good. Keep that up. Lookin' like you don't know anything.


Military Police: Their only concern is the asset.
Strickland: The Soviets want it.
Military Police: Do you have it?
Strickland: Sir, I'm getting it back.

  • [Talking about the Asset and wanting to help]
Giles: It's not even human.
Elisa: [in sign language] If we do nothing neither are we.

Giles: Oh! God, to be young and beautiful. If I could go back
  • [Elisa nods]
Giles: to when I was 18 - I didn't know anything about anything - I'd give myself a bit of advice.
Elisa: [in sign language] What would you say?
Giles: I would say: Take better care of your teeth and fuck, a lot more.
  • [Elisa smiles and gently nudges him]
Giles: Oh no, no, that's very good advice.

Strickland: [to Elisa] What'd you say to me?
Elisa: [in sign language] F - U - C - K
Strickland: What is she saying?
Elisa: Y - O - U
Zelda: Uh, I, I didn't catch it.
Strickland: [kicks the desk; pointing at Elisa] WHAT IS SHE SAYING?
Zelda: She, she is sayin' "Thank you"!


How Guillermo del Toro's 'Black Lagoon' Fantasy Inspired 'Shape of Water' (November 3, 2017)[edit]

Guillermo del Toro, How Guillermo del Toro's 'Black Lagoon' Fantasy Inspired 'Shape of Water' (November 3, 2017).

  • The creature was the most beautiful design I'd ever seen, and I saw him swimming under Julie Adams, and I loved that the creature was in love with her, and I felt an almost existential desire for them to end up together. Of course, it didn't happen.
  • When I was in my 30s, I went to Universal and I said, "Can we do the movie from the point of view of the creature?" They didn't go for it. I said, "I think they should end up together." They didn't go for that, either.
  • It's not the creature, I don't think that creature is designed in a way that he can be a romantic lead. It's beautiful, but it's not a romantic lead.


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