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Oscars 2018: Guillermo Del Toro Makes Historic Win As “Best Director”

By AFP 05 March 2018   |   4:30 am

Guillermo Del Toro has joined the league os history makers to become the third Mexican to win the Best Director award.

This was his first Oscar nomination as a director.

Despite the accusations that it bears “glaring similarities” with the Paul Zindel’s 1969 classic play, Let Me Hear You Whisper, the film has 13 nominations and has already won three.

HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 04: Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, winner of the Best Director and Best Picture awards for ‘The Shape of Water,’ poses in the press room during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/AFP

Guillermo del Toro’s entire, dazzling career has been built around a fantastical world of outlandish creatures — an elaborate universe he says he built by the age of 11.

The Mexican filmmaker — who won best director honors on Sunday for his lush fantasy romance “The Shape of Water” — is known for the monsters, vampires and superheroes that populate his creations.

They have earned him a mantel full of awards, including the Golden Globe, a Directors Guild prize, a Bafta and now the Oscar.

And all of them emerged from the experiences of a young boy growing up in Guadalajara who loved exploring sewers, was fascinated by black magic and had a werewolf for a stuffed animal.

Del Toro, 53, has called “The Shape of Water” his first “grown-up movie.”

Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, the genre-defying film is a love story between a mute janitor at a top-secret US government research facility and a strange amphibious creature being held captive there.

“It’s his masterwork to date,” said Mexican film critic Leonardo Garcia Tsao, a longtime friend of Del Toro’s.

“There was a very Guillermo element missing (from his previous films), and that was humor,” he told AFP.

Previous Del Toro films such as “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Devil’s Backbone” — both filmed in Spain and set during the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath — were darker, with themes like loss and yearning.

“The Shape of Water” is, at its heart, an optimistic movie.

But the connecting thread running through all his films is his magnificent monsters, and the human villains who, as Del Toro himself has put it, turn out to be the real monsters.

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