One of the most charming scenes in Oscar Best Picture nominee "The Shape of Water" is a sequence in which Elisa (Sally Hawkins) and neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins) are watching an old musical on TV and begin to "dance" while still seated on the couch.
Jeunet told Ouest-France that he discussed this with Del Toro. "I told him: 'You have a lot of imagination, a lot of talent. Why go and [steal] the ideas of others?'" (This was Google-translated by The Playlist.)
Del Toro's response: They are both copying "Brazil" director Terry Gilliam, so it is not stealing.
Continued Jeunet, "When he stakes the scene of the couple sitting on the edge of the bed dancing with their feet, with the musical in the background on TV, it is so copied and pasted [from] 'Delicatessen' that there is a moment when I say to myself that he lacks self-respect."
Jeunet doesn't plan to sue, but he says he is "disappointed" in Del Toro. He doesn't believe it was merely an unconscious echo, but that, "it is obvious that [Del Toro] had 'Delicatessen' in mind."
The look and whimsical feel of "The Shape of Water" has already been widely compared to Jeunet's better-known 2001 film, "Amélie," in which the heroine indulges in fantastically realized daydreams.
Compare the scenes for yourself:
"The Shape of Water"
[Via The Playlist]
Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) is a butcher who owns a run-down apartment building in post-apocalyptic France. The building is in constant need of a handyman, because Clapet routinely butchers them and sells them as food. The latest in the long ling of disposable workers is Louison (Dominique Pinon), a former circus clown desperate for work and lodging. But this time Clapet's plan hits a snag when his young daughter (Marie-Laure Dougnac) falls head over heels for the lovable Louison. Read More
Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. Her life changes forever when she discovers the lab's classified secret -- a mysterious, scaled creature from South America that lives in a water tank. As Elisa develops a unique bond with her new friend, she soon learns that its fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist. Read More