The Shape of Water is a lovely film. Seeing it is like dreamweaving eras, catching the fifties and sixties in characters, and clothing, and colors, and posters, and movies, music, and dance. There’s violence, and it’s horrific, but it’s predictable and avoidable—closing one’s eyes and plugging one’s ears a few seconds will do. There’s nothing sudden about the violence and it doesn’t linger. Many ordinary people are heroes just doing what they can, and even the villain gets a moment of understanding—he chose his arena and the values he embraced are the ones he faces. I recalled how I felt when I saw The Creature from the Black Lagoon and was grateful to visit him again in a different time. It’s a good film to watch with two views—what we as a society thought then and what we think now. Some things are not surprisingly, but unfortunately, the same. Some are changing quickly, thank goodness.