In 1962 Baltimore, Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) works as a janitor for a military lab where they are keeping a unique sea creature captive. Elisa is mute and learns that she can communicate with the creature, sneaking into his chamber to share her lunch and teach him about music. A strong bond and love develops between the two.
Meanwhile, the lab’s head of security, Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon), has been torturing the creature and the plan is to kill him in order for the military to dissect and study the creature. Elisa finds an unlikely ally in Bob, a scientist working undercover for the Russians. Elisa, Bob, her coworker Zelda (Octavia Spenser) and neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins) hatch a dangerous plan to free the creature from captivity and release him back to the water.
This movie is heart-felt and the tone is reminiscent of the 1980s classic: E.T. the extra-terrestrial. The screenplay and Del Toro’s directing style is definitely worthy of the Best Picture win The Shape of Water received at the Academy Awards. Highly recommended.