Let's be real here. Most filmmakers would be extremely fortunate to have *one* Pan's Labyrinth in them. It's a once-in-a-decade film; a true original. Expecting a director to reach that height over and over is just unrealistic, and not how art happens.
I'd love to watch the cut of the Shape of Water that you apparently saw that had "a little of a 90s flavor"
Awards don't work like that. You compare a film to the other films that year, not to a film years ago and how many awards it won. I also prefer Pan's Labyrinth still, but given the competition I wouldn't mind if Shape of Water won more awards.
That's like saying Jurassic Park is overrated because it's not as good as Jaws. Shape of Water isn't lessened because its not as great as Pan's Labyrinth.
Pan’s Labyrinth 95% and 8.6/10 on RT, 98 on MC
The Shape of Water 92% and 8.4/10 on RT, 87 on MC
Pan’s Labyrinth is much higher rated than Shape of Water. Awards are different than straight up and down ratings. Firstly they’re for a single year so you can’t really compare awards success from year to year.
I found Shape Of Water to be very safe. A lot of the film felt predictable, I knew where the film was going before the film itself got there, which is frustrating.
Pan’s Labryinth felt, and still feels fresh. There’s an element of rawness to it, particularly with how we, the audience escape with the protagonist away from the harsh realities. I think, for myself. Because I know where the film (SoW) is going, I get frustrated, as there are elements of “movie moments” (the tap dancing, singing section in black and white) with no payoff. I wanted there to be more to these moments, rather than just be, which felt like these random tidbits thrown it.
Just my two cents.
Hey to each his own. Much to my surprise, I actually liked The Shape of Water more than Pan’s Labyrinth just off the performances from the cast which I thought were pitch perfect from all 5 major characters - and that was the last thing I was expecting as a huge fan of Pans Labyrinth who didn’t personally care for GDT’s past few films.
I do find it a little funny that literally almost every prestige picture this year is being called ‘overrated’ by large groups of people - have seen it with this, Three Billboards, Get Out, Dunkirk, Blade Runner, and Lady Bird (CMBYN and Phantom Thread have avoided this so far, probably due to being much less seen than the others). I think maybe we’re all way too quick to call everything overrated these days.
I couldn't connect with Pan's Labyrinth the way everyone else seems to, and while it has its flaws, I much preferred The Shape of Water; it felt like it was made by an even more deft hand than Pan's. The visual style grabbed me in Water way more than it did in Pan's.
I'm not entirely sure why people are using the safety of the plot as an argument against The Shape of Water. It was never presented as something that could throw curve balls or subvert expectations. I think it quite clearly presented itself from the outset as a modern day fairy tale, and it succeeded in being that.
Pan’s Labyrinth is fantastic, but compared to other movies this year, The Shape of Water is still one of the best.
Also Awards aren’t necessarily always about singular achievement by a person. Sometimes it’s just about recognizing someone for consistently producing excellent work.
Pan's Labyrinth is better, but The Shape of Water succeeds solely on it's own terms on what it wants to be. It want's to be beauty and the beast (Fish man) set during the cold war and it surprised me how magical it felt seeing it unravel even though we know where the story is going.
TSOW is a VERY good movie. But I agree that it just doesn't have the same magic that Pan's Labyrinth does. I wouldn't call it overrated, as I don't recall anybody saying it's better than PL. But I also wouldn't give it best picture as I still believe Three Billboards is the best film I saw this year.
Since we're on the topic, I find that the Devil's Backbone is...perhaps not underrated, but definitely under-appreciated. Since people don't talk about it much, I went in thinking that it was going to be a middling entry, but I definitely think it's top tier. It's certainly an obvious precursor to Pan's Labyrinth, Shape of Water, and Crimson Peak. I would actually rate it below Pan's but above Shape of Water. Del Toro is so good at telling small stories within a larger historical presence.