- This film is chockfull of amazing performances such as Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg & Doug Jones. But the big standout is Sally Hawkins, who plays a mute cleaning woman. Without saying a single word Hawkins doesn’t lose a beat & makes you feel every punch. Hawkins, Jenkins & Spencer will all be competing for Oscars this coming March.
- Guillermo del Toro gives some of the best direction of the year here. del Toro creates one of the best romances of recent years in film through a mute cleaning woman & a amphibian man, and for that alone he deserves the least of an Oscar nomination.
- A beautiful screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor. Both del Toro & Taylor tell an amazing story about outsiders and the unaccepted, while as I said earlier putting together a beautiful romance between outsiders that are more alike then meets the eye.
- Some gorgeous aquatic cinematography by Dan Laustsen. Laustsen uses shades of green & blue to be more then just a feast for the eyes but to also to do some of the storytelling.
- A very sweeping score by Alexandre Desplat that brings the magic to life.
- Stunning production design by Paul D. Austerberry. Austerberry puts together some of the best sets I’ve seen all year from laboratories to apartments that immerse you to the fullest.
- Along with “Darkest Hour” this film features the best makeup work I’ve seen all year. The design of the amphibian man is breathtaking, with it featuring some amazing detail. Knowing that it took just 3 years to design it should tell you the craftsmanship that was put into this.