Guillermo del Toro

In an unlikely occurrence, Guillermo del Toro‘s horror love story ‘The Shape of Water’ wound up being the top nominated movie for this year’s Academy Awards.  The horror genre is generally considered the black sheep of the motion picture medium.  The only quasi-horror movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture was 1991’s ‘The Silence of the Lambs’, directed by the late Jonathan Demme.  A few other films that can be classified as horror have gotten nominations but failed to take the prize.  These include Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Suspicion’ in 1941 and ‘Spellbound’ in 1945, George Cukor’s ‘Gaslight’ in 1944, William Friedkin’s ‘The Exorcist’ in 1973 and M. Night Shyamalan’s 1999 classic ‘The Sixth Sense’.

‘The Shape of Water’ is up for 13 awards this year, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress for Sally Hawkins, Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer, Best Supporting Actor for Richard Jenkins and Best Original Screenplay for del Toro and Vanessa Taylor.

Del Toro praised the Academy for nominating both his film and his competitor, Jordan Peele‘s more low-key thriller ‘Get Out’.  Here’s what he had to say:

“It’s a landmark year.  I say this because Jordan Peele and myself, through different alchemies, have taken the genre and each brought a very different, very personal take. I have always been interested in the dark poetics of the genre. And Jordan has evidently been incredibly compelled to tell the story from a different point of view and has elevated it to a parable of social power that I think is unrivaled.”

In another unusual occurrence, both movies are up for Best Original Screenplay.  del Toro certainly noticed, saying:

“This is the year in which the genre takes its place on the stage without being backed by a bestselling book or a literary classic.  Normally when the fantastic is at this stage of the conversion, it is backed up by one of these things. I think it’s beautiful that this has happened.


“I look at the last 10 years, and I look at things like The Babadook, Under the Shadow, Tigers Are Not Afraid, and Let the Right One In. These are movies that are thematically strong, artistically strong. They are new proponents of this alchemy I mentioned.  I think the time has come to allow the genre to be part of the conversation.”

He finally basked in the glory of Oscar recognition, saying:

“It’s really beautiful. This journey started at the end of 2011, and it’s been a long one. It has been a difficult one. With a movie that combines so many genres emotionally, none of these things were easy or safe. To get here is all the more sweet.”

The Academy Awards will be handed out on March 4 on ABC.  Jimmy Kimmel will host the ceremony.

Source: Entertainment Weekly