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05th Mar 2018

Guillermo Del Toro wins Best Director and Best Picture for The Shape of Water

Well deserved

Kyle Picknell

Pan’s Labyrinth received two nominations in 2007 for Best Foreign Film and Adapted Screenplay.

Director Guillermo Del Toro took home two Academy Awards last night, Best Picture and Best Director, for romantic fantasy The Shape of Water. The film was amongst the favourites to pick up the prize for Best Picture but faced stiff competition in the form of fan-favourite Get Out and the bookmaker’s frontrunner Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. 

Del Toro is known for his dark fantasy films that blend political and social commentary with mythical creatures, often played by frequent collaborator Doug Jones. Previous works include Hellboy and its sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army, The Devil’s Backbone, Blade II, Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labyrinth and animated film Trollhunters.

The Shape of Water also won Original Score and Production Design, making it four wins on the night.

Image credit Getty

Del Toro wrote The Shape of Water along with Vanessa Taylor, a film about a silent orphan working in a high-security government lab who falls in love with one of the experiments, an amphibious-humanoid creature.

Let’s be honest, it’s hardly Oscar-bait, is it? Importantly, it’s also the first female-led film to win Best Picture since Million Dollar Baby in 2004.

The Mexican auteur was quick to address issues of diversity in his acceptance speech, reinforcing the fact that he is an immigrant in America, but above all else, a citizen of the world.

“And in the last 25 years, I’ve been living in a country all of our own. Part of it is here, part of it is in Europe, part of it is everywhere. Because I think the greatest thing that art does, and that our industry does, is erase the lines in the sand when the world tells us to make them deeper.

“This is a door,” he concluded. “Kick it open and come in.”

The door ajar, of course, because of directors like Del Toro in the first place.