The Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro is now believed to be the Oscar frontrunner for Best Director as he took home the highest honor at last night's 70th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards. When accepting the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, del Toro said the following:
“At the time that the Lumiere brothers were recording a train coming into the station, the workers exiting the factory, there was a man called George Melies recording what was not there, what wasn’t possible. At the time of chronicle, fable was born. And we are in times that tremendously difficult. Sometimes to speak about monsters we need monsters. And the best way to phrase a longing, a healing, the need for inclusion, choosing loving the other instead of hurting them is a fable. I really need a fable to talk about it. So I want to thank the DGA for choosing to reward us and allows us as a genre to come into the conversation" (via Entertainment Weekly).
The Mexican director beat out competitors like Jordan Peele (Get Out) and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) for the top prize, but that doesn't mean they were all total losers. For example, Peele got the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a First-Time Feature Film. Even The Handmaid's Tale was among the winners with Reed Morano recognized for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Dramatic Series ("Offred").
“It’s a landmark year,” del Toro told EW in January. “I say this because Jordan Peele and myself, through different alchemies, have taken the genre and each brought a very different, very personal take. I have always been interested in the dark poetics of the genre. And Jordan has evidently been incredibly compelled to tell the story from a different point of view and has elevated it to a parable of social power that I think is unrivaled. This is the year in which the genre takes its place on the stage without being backed by a bestselling book or a literary classic. Normally when the fantastic is at this stage of the conversion, it is backed up by one of these things. I think it’s beautiful that this has happened.”