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Rex Reed’s Negative ‘The Shape of Water’ Review Goes Viral After Crediting Benicio del Toro as Director

Even Guillermo del Toro weighed in on the now-infamous review, which also referred to Sally Hawkins' character as "mentally handicapped."

"The Shape of Water"

“The Shape of Water”

Rex Reed has been reviewing movies in major publications for several decades now, including the New York Daily News, GQ, Vogue, The New York Times, and more, but his negative review of “The Shape of Water” might just go down as his most infamous to date. The review was published on the Observer website on December 19, but it got the real director Guillermo del Toro confused with actor Benicio Del Toro, who can currently be seen in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Social media quickly targeted the review for the error. Reed did not even spell Benicio del Toro’s name correctly, nor did he even credit co-writer Vanessa Taylor for the film’s screenplay. Reed also referred to Benicio as being from Spain. Benicio is from Puerto Rico, while Guillermo del Toro hails from Mexico. Even worse, the critic wrote that Sally Hawkins’ mute protagonist is “mentally handicapped.”

Observer quickly deleted the tweet to the review and edited the mistakes. Guillermo del Toro weighed in on Twitter, writing, “What an honor it would be to get a bad review from Rex Reed. Alas Benecio (sic) can enjoy it for now…Oh, and, apparently, Benecio (sic) is from Spain. Which, obviously, I am not.”

Fortunately, Guillermo del Toro doesn’t need to get caught up on one bad review for “The Shape of Water.” The movie has been largely acclaimed by film critics and it even placed in the Top 10 on IndieWire’s 2018 critics poll. “The Shape of Water” is also nominated for seven Golden Globes, more than any other motion picture this year, including Best Picture Drama and Best Director. To the surprise of no one, Reed’s mistake quickly went viral.

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