Set during the height of the Cold War, “The Shape of Water” tells the story of Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins). The film opens with Elisa’s daily routine: every day she makes breakfast, bathes and polishes her shoes before heading to work, where she serves as a night-time janitor in a government laboratory. Mute and only able to communicate with others using sign language, Elisa lives alone and her routine remains unchanging.