Sally Hawkins

'The Shape of Water' gives Baltimore an unexpected — and unexplained — Oscar connection

'The Shape of Water' gives Baltimore an unexpected — and unexplained — Oscar connection

Who knew there was a secret government laboratory studying gill men right here in Baltimore?

At least, there is in “The Shape of Water,” writer-director Guillermo del Toro’s much-honored movie about a mute janitor and the intimate bond she forms with an amphibious humanoid creature hailing from South America, who some crazed U.S. government types think might help us win the Space Race.

(Think a high-class sci-fi hybrid of “Splash” and “The Creature From the Black Lagoon,” and you’ll get the idea.)

It leads the Oscars pack with 13 nominations for the awards presentation March 4 in Los Angeles. And the film’s action takes place right here in Charm City.

The secret...

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