Guillermo del Toro uses The Shape of Water Best Picture speech to encourage genre filmmakers

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The fish-man triumphs! The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro’s gorgeous fantasy romance, won Best Picture at the 90th Academy Awards.

Going into Sunday’s ceremony, The Shape of Water led with 13 nominations (including Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay), the most of any film nominated this year, ultimately winning four prizes. Sally Hawkins stars as a mute cleaning lady in 1960s Baltimore who strikes up an unexpected relationship with a mysterious aquatic creature.

“I was a kid enamored with movies, growing up in Mexico. I thought this could never happen – it happens,” del Toro said in his acceptance speech.

He also dedicated the award to young filmmakers, calling them “the youth that is showing us how things are done — really, they are — in every country in the world” before also encouraging makers of genre and fantasy tales.

“I want to tell you, everyone that is dreaming of a parable, of using genre and fantasy to tell the stories about the things that are real in the world today, you can do it,” he said. “This is a door. Kick it open and come in.”

The Shape of Water was nominated alongside Lady Bird, Get Out, Dunkirk, The Post, Darkest Hour, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Phantom Thread, and Call Me By Your Name.

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