It’s grabbed the most number of wins at the 90th Academy Awards in Hollywood LA, and is rapidly setting a new culture in the industry. So what can we take away from Director Guillermo del Toro’s latest fantasy drama film – The Shape of Water?
As The Shape of Water marks its 4th straight win of the night with the ‘best film’ at the 2018 Oscars, the Director and co-writer - Guillermo del Toro describes that this film isn’t just an ‘as you like it’ for the audience’. When asked by Michael Strahan on what the audience can take away from ‘The Shape of Water’, Guillermo del Toro said – “Empathy for the other”.
Set in the Cold War era, The Shape of Water revolves around a mute cleaning woman (best actress nominee Sally Hawkins), who falls in love with a sea creature (Doug Jones) that is being held captive by the Government for their own plans. Much of the story takes place in a top secret scientific laboratory where the sea creature is being held captive and intensifies with the hope to liberate him. What unfolds is a violent thriller with a unique love story unlike any other fairy tale ever witnessed.
Known for its unsettling unique love-story amidst a troubled time, The Shape of Water encapsulates the hope to see a fairy tale conclude with a happy romance. Director Del Toro stated that he wanted to make a film like “Beauty and the Beast” with a ‘twist’. In his version of the film, the beast is not compelled to ‘transform.’
Apart from winning the best picture, the film was expected to grab the headlines as it had also been nominated for 13 other awards in the same night (the maximum number for a film at the awards). Del Toro’s The Shape of Water took home the Best Director, Production Design and Score at the Academy Awards. It is also the 4th time in 5 years that a Mexican Director has won the award. Guillermo’s film cast both established and fresh talent as it went on to see the Director win his first Oscar.
The Shape of Water isn’t your typical Oscar winner. Conveying an impactful message through the music, the film celebrates love, hope, empathy and the capacity to overcome all evil. We will also remember this year as one where men screwed up so badly that women started dating fish.