The Fantastic Everyday: The Shape of Water and Female Sexuality

A romantic tryst between a woman and an amphibious sea creature was never going to be an easy elevator pitch and yet, with all of The Shape of Water’s unusual elements, it includes something so staggeringly normal. Amongst the gills and frills, a relentlessly realistic view of female sexuality marks this film out as exceptional in a cinematic landscape that takes vast liberties with women and sexual desire.

Now, to pre-empt any inevitable quibbles here, I’ve not forgotten that the two at the centre of this love story exist deep within a fairytale. This is not an…