I haven’t seen Shape of Water, I’m gonna start off by saying that. But the film being nominated for, and then winning Best Picture has kicked off something that I really can’t stand. It kicked off people being bewildered/upset by the popularity of something deem “weird.”
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, the word “weird” is an adjective, defined as “of strange or extraordinary character.” This is now t good, nor is it bad. The characteristic of being “weird” holds no positive or negative judgment, and yet it is often used to dismiss the quality of something. This drives me crazy.
Why are people so concerned with what is or is not weird? Do you really want Best Picture to be not-weird? Or anything for that matter? The antonyms to weird are “normal, regular, usual.” Do you want a “regular” Best Picture? Do you want to eat the “usual” meal? Or have a “normal” vacation, or party, or life, or whatever? I don’t.
Variety is the spice of life, and yet we really like to surround ourselves with homogenization. When will we overcome this engrained protectiveness against “weird,” and just start rolling with it? “Weird” pushes us forward doesn’t it? The Wright brothers probably seemed weird to anyone around them, same with artists and scientists. What good, or what growth and advancement has come out of normal?
Personally, I don’t think of weird as good, or bad. I think of it as interesting, as different, and with that there are some good things, and obviously some bad, but “weirdness” is not a measurement of quality. Just like a blue car is not better than a green car (having a preference is ok, but one’s not better than the other).
Last thing that I want to say. I haven’t seen this film, like I said. And I am sure there are some legitimate reasons to love it, and some legitimate reasons to not love it, but weirdness should not be one. Also, I get that people think it’s weird that a woman has a sexual relationship with a fish man, but is this only based on his looking grotesque, right? I mean people loved Beauty and the Beast, and while vampires may look he same age forever, there is something inherently creepy about someone over 100 years old falling for someone sixteen or seventeen. We can admit that right?