then while on holiday managed to finally catch The Shape of Water on actual live TV (somehow none of us had seen it before), then found Pan’s Labyrinth in a charity shop and felt like it would be a great time to finally get round to watching after about a decade of planning to, for a little GDT double bill
TSOW looked great and was pretty romantic, but didn’t leave much impact beyond that. Great monster design though, and as always Michael Shannon is just the best thing in every film he appears in. Really made me think of his wild, dangerously focused character from Boardwalk Empire. Has anyone said it was basically a better version of Splash though?
Pan though … fuuuck. Just excellent, well worth the wait and lived up to everything I knew about it (very little in the way of plot, but a lot in the way of reputation and good reviews). Always love serious, meaningful films that put children right at the centre of them rather than just using them as collateral damage or character motivations for adult characters (see: Florida Project) and this was right up there with the best of them. She was an amazing character, love how much sense of place and time there was, how it accounted for the scope and scale of it being a whole war while also making it clear we were only focusing on this one little enclave of action and all the subtle interplays between the characters.
Yet more amazing character design, the Faun actually stuck out a lot more to me than the Pale Man despite him being the image I used to associate with this film. Didn’t realise it was quite such a tragedy, so the ending took me completely by surprise and was very affecting. Also came out of it unsure if the magic and creatures were actually “real” or if it was all a child’s way of coping with the horrors of her life - love either reading, always good when a film can delicately handle that type of either/or balance.
Will absolutely be rewatching within the next few years, feel I’ll get even more from it second time around