On Sunday night at the 90th Annual Academy Awards, Guillermo del Toro's sordid mermaid fantasy, The Shape of Water, won awards for the best director and the best film. Previously at night, the film also won for Original Score and Production Design. The four victories of the film came from a list of 13 general nominations for the film.
In his acceptance speech for the best direction, the Mexican-born filmmaker followed the initiative of many other winners and immediately focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. "I am an immigrant," he said, checking the name of Salma Hayek, Gael García Bernal, and several other Mexican artists who were present in the room. "And in the last 25 years, I've been living in a country of my own, part of it is here, part of it is in Europe, part of it is everywhere, because I think the best thing that art does, and what It makes our industry, it is to erase the lines in the sand when the world tells us to make them deeper ".
It was a particularly appropriate sentiment for The Shape of Water, a film that focuses on the fear and alienation that some may feel when confronting people and things they may not understand. In Del Toro's film, she is personified by the remarkable hatred, and improbable love, that a mermaid man encounters when he is confined in a Baltimore lab to be studied.
In his acceptance speech for Best Film, which he did as a producer of the film, rather than as a writer and director, Del Toro was shorter and more forceful. He spoke briefly about growing up in Mexico watching foreign films, and adding his own legacy to the legacy of the filmmakers he admired. He also suggested that The Shape of Water could be seen as an example to other filmmakers, demonstrating that gender fantasy can be used to address real-world issues and controversies. "This is a door," he concluded. "Kick it and enter."
The celebrated filmmaker had previously been nominated for his 2007 film Pan & # 39; s Labyrinth. The crop of nominees for Best Director this year included several other Hollywood favorites, as well as a couple of disruptive upstarts. Christopher Nolan was nominated for his work in Dunkirk, while Paul Thomas Anderson received a nomination for his period drama Phantom Thread.
In the Best Movie category, nine films were nominated, and Shape of Water beat other winners earlier in the evening, including Call My By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out, Phantom Thread and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Two other nominees for Best Film, Lady Bird and The Post, went home without any triumph.
Lady Bird was a particular surprise as Oscar's most intense speculation of 2018 came about the two first-time directors nominated in several categories this year. Director and screenwriter Greta Gerwig was nominated for Lady Bird, making her the fifth woman in Oscar history to receive the nomination for best director, while its first director, Jordan Peele, known for her work in the comedy show Comedy Central, Key & Peele, was also nominated for his subversive horror comedy Get Out. Peele won the Oscar for the original script of Get Out before the night.