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The Shape of Water

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Guillermo del Toro wasn’t sweating Natalie Portman’s Golden Globes diss. The actress made headlines for slamming the Hollywood Foreign Press Association while announcing the “all-male” nominees for Best Director at the awards show on Sunday, and while del Toro’s off-the-cuff reaction circulated online, he later told ET that he wasn’t upset by the comment.

“I love them,” del Toro told ET’s Cameron Mathison on the Critics’ Choice Awards red carpet of the women directors like Patty Jenkins and Greta Gerwig who were not nominated by the HFPA.”What this season has told us [is] it’s time for everyone to say what they think, so let’s do it,” he added.

Del Toro, who also won Best Director (Gerwig scored a nod this time) at the Critics’ Choice Awards, reacted to the immense success of The Shape of Water, which led the pack with 14 nominations at Thursday’s awards show.

“You take it in strides beautifully. When it happens, it’s great,” he said. “Now, it doesn’t happen every time, so you learn not to go a little crazy. It’s beautiful.”

Steven Spielberg also told ET what he thought of Portman’s dig, calling it a “watershed” moment that wasn’t “happening fast enough for women directors.”

See more in the video below.Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is having a very good week, having won the Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards for direction from both groups and Best Picture from the latter. The movie has grossed $23.7 million so far, which is more than it cost to make, but it still has more room to grow once Oscar nominations are announced on Jan. 22.

Del Toro certainly has his diehard fans (myself included), and we can probably presume that many of the people who have already seen The Shape of Water so far were already fans of del Toro’s other films. It still feels as if there’s room for del Toro to grow his fanbase as a filmmaker ala Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg or Clint Eastwood, filmmakers whose names alone can get people into theaters.

There are two somewhat distinct sides to Guillermo del Toro and his films. Almost all his films, including The Shape of Water, had at least one foot in the world of genre, but some of his films are weightier prestige film with a message, while others are entertaining commercial romps with giant monsters and robots that probably will appeal to some of those who enjoy that aspect of The Shape of Water.

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We’ll start with the director’s more prestigious films, including one that won three Oscars, making it obvious del Toro’s work is already known among those important Oscar voters.Del Toro’s prestigious fantasy film was his third Spanish-language film produced independently with a mostly Spanish cast and crew, but it really connected to everyone who saw it, including Oscar voters, who nominated it in the foreign language category. It was Del Toro’s second film to be put forward as Mexico’s foreign language selection after his debut feature Chronos, and it ended up winning three Oscars, including one for his regular cinematographer Guillermo Navarro. Set in 1944 Spain, it involves the young stepdaughter of a sadistic army office who escapes into a world of eerie and fantastical creatures, many of them portrayed by Doug Jones, who plays the creature in Shape of Water. Del Toro considers this one of his favorite films along with The Shape of Water, and there’s a lot of DNA in this film that’s carried over to other del Toro films including Hellboy: The Golden Army. If you liked The Shape of Water and haven’t seen Pan’s Labyrinth, then that should be the first movie you see.Another one of del Toro’s own personal faves (as well as mine) is this Spanish language ghost story, another period piece revolving around kids and the supernatural, although this one didn’t have any of his regular collaborators like Doug Jones or Ron Perlman, each of whom have appeared in eight of del Toro’s films.To be honest, this 2015 film starring Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston is one of my least favorite ones that del Toro has directed, maybe because I was expecting it to be a gothic horror film, and it really was more of a gothic romance that uses a few genre tropes but just never delivered the punch of some of the horror films he’s produced. That’s why I put it more on the prestige side of things, because it probably would have been considered awards-fare if it hadn’t been marketed otherwise. I guess this is del Toro’s mother!

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