It's that time of year again: the 2018 Oscar nominations are officially in, and Guillermo del Toro is showing his graditude for the Academy nominating two original horror movies for multiple categories.
Guillermo del Toro's own film The Shape of Water has received a total of 13 Oscar nominations (including for Best Picture and Best Director), making it the most nominated film at the 90th Academy Awards. However, the filmmaker has more praise to offer fellow director Jordan Peele for his horror movie Get Out - which received a total of 4 Oscar nominations, including for Best Director and Best Picture - than he does his own.
In an interview with EW, del Toro praised the actions of the Academy, and looked forward to the future of films about the horrific and fantastic:
“It’s a landmark year. 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.”
The fact that both of these films are Best Picture nominated horror movies is huge on its own. Both films also mark an uptick in maturity for each director, especially Peele. On his own, Peele nabbed Oscar nods for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Screenplay, and he's only the third person in history to do that on his first film. While del Toro himself has been nominated for an Oscar before with Pan's Labyrinth, Peele has achieved what many might think is impossible with his very first feature film, especially as an original project.
Del Toro went further in his praise of this year's Oscar nominated horror fare, saying, "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.” He also took a moment to recognize horror movies from years past that he feels were also deserving of Oscar recognition:
“I look at the last 10 years, and I look at things like The Babadook, Under the Shadow, Tigers Are Not Afraid, and Let the Right One In. These are movies that are thematically strong, artistically strong. They are new proponents of this alchemy I mentioned. I think the time has come to allow the genre to be part of the conversation.”
In truth, every year there are a significant number of quality genre films (and not just horror) that get overlooked by the Academy, in favor of what have become known as "Oscar bait movies". Based on this year's picks alone, we are hopefully in store for a revitalization of the Academy Awards process that not only celebrates unique and interesting films, but will also embrace women and people of color filmmakers. While these qualities alone are not enough for Oscar nominations, if there are diverse filmmakers out there making quality pictures like Get Out and The Shape of Water, then we're in store for a new era of movie awards. And it's about time, too.
Source: Entertainment Weekly