Oscars: 'Shape of Water's' Guillermo del Toro Wins Best Director
The Fox Searchlight film won four of the 13 Academy Awards for which it was nominated.
The Shape of Water helmer Guillermo del Toro won the Oscar for best director on Sunday night.
Del Toro beat out fellow nominees Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) and Jordan Peele (Get Out). Gerwig and Peele were only the fifth woman and black man, respectively, to be nominated in the category in Oscars history. No black man has ever won best director, while Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to win best director. Gerwig's rare inclusion in the often-all-male category got a shout-out from presenter Emma Stone, who introduced the nominees as "four men and Greta Gerwig," a description that provoked an audible response from the audience.
The best director award was just the latest Oscar for Shape of Water, which previously won two awards during Sunday night's show. It went on to win four prizes in total, including best picture, after going into the ceremony up for 13 awards.
The Oscar is also just the latest prize for del Toro, who won equivalent awards from the Golden Globes and Directors Guild. Still, the prize marked his first Oscar win on his fourth nomination.
The win marked the fourth time in the past five years that a filmmaker of Mexican descent won the best director Oscar, with Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu winning in previous years for Gravity (Cuaron) and Birdman and The Revenant (Inarritu). Together del Toro, Cuaron and Inarritu are considered the "three amigos."
During his speech, del Toro referenced Cuaron and Inarritu and praised Hollywood for creating an environment that welcomed immigrants such as himself.
"In the last 25 years, I've been living in a country all of our own. ... The greatest thing ... our industry does is to erase the line in the sand. We should continue doing that," he said.
Del Toro also thanked distributor Fox Searchlight for listening to his "mad pitch" for a "fairytale about an amphibian god and a mute woman ... with the music of a thriller" and thinking that that film "would be a sure bet."
The 90th annual Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, aired live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles.
Read del Toro's full speech below.
I -- I am an immigrant, like Alfonso [Cuaron] and Alejandro [Gonzalez Inarritu], my compadres, like Gael [Garcia Bernal], like Salma [Hayek], and like many, many of you, and in the last 25 years, I've been living in a country all of our own. Part of it is here, part of it is Europe, part of it is everywhere, because I think that the greatest thing that does and our industry does is erase the line in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper. The place I like to thank the most is Fox Searchlight, because, in 2014, they came to listen to a mad pitch, with some drawings and a story [...] and they believed that a fairytale about an amphibian god and a mute woman, […] with the music of a thriller would be a sure bet. I want to thank the people that have come with me all the way. Kimmy, Robert, Gary, Wayne and George, and my kids, and I want to say, like James Cagney said once, my mother thanks you, my father thanks you. My brothers and sisters thank you. And I thank you. Very much. Thank you.