Sorry for the delay on this post, but let’s get ready to go down day 6! I got to catch Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” Sebastián Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman,” and finally Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water.”


“First Reformed,” dir. Paul Schrader

An ex-military chaplain, is wrecked by grief over the death of his son. A member of his church whose husband, a radical environmentalist, commits suicide, setting the plot in motion.

While it might have been a bit too much of a slow burn as the story wasn’t entirely investing for me personally, “First Reformed” still has a strong atmosphere and a really solid lead performance from Ethan Hawke.


“A Fantastic Woman,” dir. Sebastián Lelio

A waitress and singer struggles to recover from the death of her boyfriend.

Emotionally raw, stunningly beautiful, and engaging beyond words, “A Fantastic Woman” hits hard and leaves a huge lasting impact. Daniela Vega is an absolute powerhouse!


“The Shape of Water,” dir. Guillermo Del Toro

An other-worldly story, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962, where a mute janitor working at a lab falls in love with an amphibious man being held captive there and devises a plan to help him escape.

Guillermo Del Toro has crafted a visual marvel that is one of the most delightful films of the year . . . with that twisted Del Toro spin we’ve come to expect from him. “The Shape of Water” is truly magical through its lively characters, rich production design, enchanting score, and mesmerizing cast. Unfortunately, I can’t go into my single complaint I have without getting into spoilers so I’ll save that for later, but we definitely need more films like this.


If you want to stay updated with all my reviews at TIFF as I see the films, follow me on my Letterboxd.

Day 7 up next!


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