The 'Shape of Water' director ultimately prevailed in a competitive category at Sunday night's Globes

By David Canfield
January 11, 2018 at 11:17 AM EST

Natalie Portman’s introduction of the five men competing for best director at Sunday’s Golden Globes as the “all-male nominees” certainly stunned some, but at least one of those men has spoken out in support of her: Guillermo del Toro.

The Shape of Water director, who ended up winning the category, told IndieWire via email he had no mixed feelings about Portman’s decision to introduce the category that way. “I think it was great!” he said. “She should say exactly what she feels. There is phenomenal work being done by female directors.” He then, per IndieWire, singled out the work of Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Dee Rees (Mudbound), and Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman), all of whom were snubbed by the Globes, as “terrific.”

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association was widely criticized for nominating exclusively men in its directing category despite the fact that films such as Lady Bird and Mudbound had already established themselves as critically acclaimed awards players. (Lady Bird won the Golden Globe for best motion picture, musical or comedy.) BAFTA later followed suit earlier this week, similarly leaving women off of their directing list entirely.

Del Toro singled out the contributions of the women who worked on The Shape of Water, including stars Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer, in his Golden Globes acceptance speech. He beat out the likes of Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg, the latter of whom also addressed Portman’s comments earlier this week. “There’s also a watershed happening right now, slowly, maybe not fast enough, for women directors,” he said to Entertainment Tonight. “I mean you have Patty Jenkins. We have some amazing women that have come forward, you know Mudbound and Lady Bird. This is a pretty incredible year, and I think you’ll be seeing some nominations. I’m predicting at the Oscars this year for a woman director, if not several.”

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