The Shape of Water: entertaining but where did the 13 Oscar nods come from?

The Shape of Water is a beautiful, entertaining film by the Mexican director Guillermo del Toro. The film is his take on many monster movies of the past, most prominently The Creature from Black Lagoon. The film features excellent performances from Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon. 

But 13 Oscars? Seems like it is just one of those feel-good auteur pieces that the MPAA members go nuts about from time to time - Shakespeare in Love, The Artist and La La Land immediately come to mind. 





Artemis - a disappointing follow-up to Martian

Oh, what a disappointment! I approached Andy Weir's Artemis powered with the fervor of Martian. And this book, about the moon colony, starts quite brilliantly. The colony, with all its trappings of being a human civilization with human flaws (economic disparity, commercialism, crime, etc), is described well. There are fun facts like coffee tasting terrible because water never boils or that Kenya, with its proximity to moon (being on the equator) is suddenly  massively rich and powerful.   

But then it immediately becomes clear that this book is written, largely as a movie script with ready-made characters right out of your average blockbuster script. It resorts to some terribly poor attempts at pedestrian humor and dubious plot elements to keep moving forward. It prioritizes forward motion over all else hence sacrificing the tension and good-natured angst that kept Martian taut and interesting. 

However, there is one quote that I found quite relatable: 

“I woke to those few seconds of pleasant amnesia that everyone is awarded with.”


By Andy Weir