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The distinctions between human and animal, alive and dead, and even mobile and inert are fluid in November, an adult fairy tale that's as earthy as it is lyrical. The movie's central story, a tortured-love triangle, is slight. But the context is fascinating and the visual style bewitching.

The first characters to enter the silvery black-and-white landscape of the film are a wolf — later revealed to be a shape-shifting human — and a kratt, a creature constructed of farm implements and an animal skull and brought to life by a blood pact with the devil.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

This afternoon in Missouri, Republican Governor Eric Greitens was arrested and booked on a charge of felony invasion of privacy. He was released without having to post bail. St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann joins us now. Hey, Rachel.

Restraint seems an odd word to apply to a film this crowded with car chases, gunplay, sneering bad guys, panicky good guys and one gleefully gruesome instance of ad-hoc, back-alley, gunshot-wound surgery.

And yet, here we are.

The alien dome they call "The Shimmer" stretches for several miles, radiating from a lighthouse in the middle of a national park. Its border is pulsating and translucent with shades of purple, like a soap bubble; it's so alive it seems to moan, or at the least to breathe. No messages from within can reach the outside world. Those who enter don't come back out, or not the same, anyway. And the first time one expedition sets up camp, they awake to find that they have already been there for days, with no memory of what transpired in-between.

Less than two weeks before the Academy Awards, a leading best picture nominee has been slapped with a high-profile lawsuit. In a complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, the estate of Paul Zindel alleges The Shape of Water "brazenly copies the story, elements, characters, and themes" of a 1969 work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.

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