I delayed seeing this movie for a long time because I thought it would be like Pan’s Labyrinth — wonderfully creative, but intellectually disturbing. I shouldn’t have waited. This movie was not only wonderfully creative, but funny and profound, too. And only a little disturbing.
The story is notionally based on a Cold War era sci fi movie about a mysterious creature from the Amazon that is being stalked by both American and Russian intelligence. But to me, it also had resonances with the Amazonian legend of the “river bride,” which involves river dolphins occasionally taking human form.
The performances are wonderful, particularly Sally Hawkins, whose character is mute. The cinematography and water imagery are especially beautiful. It’s a magical film that will leave you happy for having seen it.
It’s nice to see an Oscar actually go to the best picture, for once.