Guillermo del Toro just won the Oscar for Best Director at the 2018 Academy Awards.
Guillermo del Toro on the set of The Shape of Water. Photo: Fox Searchlight
He won for The Shape of Water, a beautiful film about a woman who falls in love with a fish man. More than that though, it's a film that balances heart, humour, politics, family and so much more in a visually stunning manner well-deserving of the honour.
Del Toro has been a fan favourite director ever since his first films, Cronos, Mimic and Devil's Backbone. After that, he made a few studio films such as Blade 2 and Hellboy, followed by an unabashed masterpiece called Pan's Labyrinth. And yet, despite his long trip, del Toro's heart was always in the weird, small genre films, and that really showed with The Shape of Water.
Read more about his amazing film below.
In Guillermo del Toro's latest film The Shape of Water, a mute cleaning lady falls in love with a mysterious fishman. It's a weird premise, to be sure, but nothing about how it's handled feels weird. Instead, del Toro's film is poetic, sumptuous, emotionally complex, and yet almost strikingly simple in its narrative.
For anyone familiar with the work of Guillermo Del Toro, they will know that he has a penchant for monster movies, and utilising them to explore both the innate flaws and immense beauty that humanity has to offer. Although that concept that ‘the humans were the monsters all along’ seems trite, Del Toro manages to explore it in a way that is fresh and intricate. While still hitting on the themes that fans have come to expect from him.
Because The Shape of Water was always meant to be a romantic fairy tale for adults, director Guillermo del Toro knew that if he was going to sell audiences on the idea of an inter-species love affair, he would need to try (in earnest) to make the fish man at least somewhat conventionally attractive. Rather than focusing on the creature's face, hands, or mouth, del Toro made the excellent decision to simply give the fish man a nice arse.