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Director: Robert Zemeckis Starring: Octavia Spencer, Jahzir Bruno, Chris Rock, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci Running Time: 106 mins

When I first saw the trailer for Robert Zemeckis’ new adaptation of The Witches, I couldn’t contain my excitement and immediately sent it round to friends and family. This got reactions varying from lukewarm to stone faced because my loved ones all felt that no one could beat Anjelica Huston’s turn as the Grand High Witch from Nicolas Roeg’s version of The Witches released in 1990. I hadn’t seen that version and so I approached Zemeckis’ film unspoilt by the comparison. Unfortunately, I still didn’t love it!

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When a film becomes an award season juggernaut in the way that The Shape of Water did, racking up 87 wins from 243 nominations at a variety of ceremonies, the front-runner sweeping home on the way to Oscar wins that included Best Picture and Best Director, it’s becomes enveloped forever into that context, forever on a pedestal, conversations around it forever centered on which wins it did or didn’t deserve, if it being the most successful film from those who created it makes it the best one, and whether or not its that most useless word in film criticism, “overrated”. Discussing the merits of The Shape of Water is even more difficult than most examples of those discourse victims, as it’s not only the Homecoming King of 2017/2018 Awards Season, it’s also forever the Fish Fucking Movie.

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