I’ve never been particularly fond of the Academy Awards, partially because they–and awards shows in general–typically have a very self-congratulationary air about them, creating the illusion that they’re a lot more important than they actually are (there’s an art to making movies to be sure, but they’re typically the efforts of hundreds of individuals, despite whichever director happens to win) and particularly because the movies that do win awards–such as Best Picture–in some instances are those that many people wouldn’t be likely to see.
And sometimes it feels that many filmmakers–in an effort to win–will create films that are designed to do just that (though to be fair that has as much, if not more, to do with the studio that’s releasing he film as well).
Which is why I am so impressed by the work of Guillermo del Toro (despite not having yet seen The Shape of Water) and believe he deserves the win.
He loves his monsters, and he’s at his best when he uses them as allegories for the human condition.
And that’s what so amazing for me. From Chronos to Pacific Rim, del Toro never abandoned the creatures that haunted his dreams as a child, seemingly in an effort to win an award.
Instead, we’ve caught up with his esthetic, which for me is the very definition of what separates genuine Art from the the also-rans.
Which is also why he deserves at the very least the ‘Best Director’ statuette.
For ‘Best Picture’ I’m leaning toward Get Out, which is also managed to move beyond the bounds of genre as well.