Welcome back to the weekly roundup of films released this week! This time we see the battle of two Oscar contenders and a silly comedy that will probably do well, but it shouldn’t. It really shouldn’t! This week I am going to add in how the official trailers have performed an extra assistance for my breakdown. Let’s get started!
The Shape of Water
An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War-era America circa 1963. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa is trapped in a life of silence and isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment.
Starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones, Octavia Spencer
One of the few fantasy films to break into the Best Film category and most awards in general. In fact, the last film nominated that would be classed as a fantasy film was Life of Pi in 2012, with Lord of the Rings: Return of the King the only winner. The Shape of Water is going to do well and looks very interesting. But be warned, this is a Guillermo Del Toro film so some violence is to be expected.
Other than a woman falling in love with an aquatic creature, the film also stars a woman who is a mute and communicates via sign language. Interestingly enough this will be the second big release of the year that will heavily involve sign language. The other being ‘A Quiet Place’ later in the year.
Del Toro has always tried to break boundaries and create dark and interesting pieces that look beautiful. Pans Labyrinth and to an extent (though not the best film) Crimson Peak.
Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon rarely disappoint, I for one adore Hawkins Maudie from last year. But I imagine the under the radar star ofn the show will be Doug Jones who is a Del Toro regular. Hopefully, this is the one to help him break out.
The film may not go big at the box office, as it only had 11 million views on the first trailer and then a sharp 60%+ decline per trailer after that, which, box office wise, is a worry. The positive though is that the film has such a resonance with people that Del Toro is even planning the release of The Shape of Water in a novelised format.
Lady Bird (Northern Ireland 23rd Feb)
An outspoken teen must navigate a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-willed mother over the course of an eventful and poignant senior year of high school.
Starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Timothée Chalamet
Greta Gerwig has been growing and growing as a writer/director finally accumulating to her first solo director slot. This actually earned her a director nomination at the Oscar and only the 5th time that it has happened in the history of the Academy Awards.
A premise that is so female-focused and not just as a small indie film is refreshing and very much required in Hollywood and in film in general (even more so after the year we have been having) From reviews there are strong performances across the board from the leads with Saoirse Ronan very strong and showing Irish actors how to appropriately change her accent to an American one (Looking at you Colin Farrell). Laurie Metcalf is always strong and I am so pleased that she is able to shine in a big critically acclaimed film, as most younger audiences may only know her from Big Bang Theory.
The official trailer almost got to 10 million views and the 1st trailer (released in the same month) got 2.1 million with other clips and featurettes hitting into the millions and high 400,000. That is stronger than The Shape of Water. This would also have a bit more legs as it is one that people can wait on and maybe even revisit.
An added bonus to the film is with it being small and intimate and considering the endless rise of massive blockbuster films, to have films like Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name (busy night for Timothee Chalamet who stars in both) get notoriety for keeping it close. These films are sorely missed in the cinema and you should aim to make sure you catch it when you can as it might be the underdog at the Oscars.
Upon learning that their mother has been lying to them for years about their allegedly deceased father, two fraternal twin brothers hit the road in order to find him.
Starring; J.K. Simmons, Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, Glenn Close, Ving Rhames
I spoke about this previously, but when a film is kept in the vault for so long and then throughout before Christmas (in America) when Star Wars came out. It means that the film will not be comedically strong. I expect it to do okay at the box office as these comedies usually do, but it will have no legs as there are so many films out at the minute (It appears the only poor month box office wise is now September) as films are now performing stronger in the first two months of the year and with Blockbuster films opening earlier and earlier (Hey Black Panther) there are fewer opportunities to throughout the duds and make it not noticeable.
Having all of its trailers and features only just brush to 2.5 million views shows that the audience isn’t there for the film as it is not being shared. There are two brilliant films out this week, go to those instead of this.
Next week we have I, Tonya and Dark River (These are the standouts) Birth of a Dragon which is a film that doesn’t know what it is and interestingly NOT Annihilation by Alex Garland as it’s release has been moved to Netflix in the UK instead, which, if you go by Cloverfield: Paradox… Is a worry.
I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know your thoughts below! If you want to chat more about any of my posts, please follow me on Twitter, Instagram and also to receive updates, Until next time, thanks for reading and I hope to see you again soon!