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When an Immigrant, a Black Man, and a Woman are Nominated for Best Director, Everyone Wins

Well, not really, but still...


Guillermo del Toro won the Academy Award for Best Director for his film, The Shape of Water, which also just won Best Picture. It is a gorgeous and unique fairy tale that centers a female character with a disability (who isn’t played by one, but…). While I totally enjoyed that movie, I was pulling for someone else in the director’s race specifically. Still, I’m trying to remember the fact that this unique crop of nominees is pretty astounding in the first place.

I was really pulling for Greta Gerwig in this category. I wanted Jordan Peele for Best Screenplay (score!) and I think that Get Out deserves Best Picture, but Lady Bird does an amazing job at evoking a very particular feeling, a class-based, gender-based feeling that rarely gets shared, and is the type of quiet, low-key story that often gets dismissed, because you have to be loud to be considered important.

As Lady Bird herself says in the film, “Lots of things can be sad. It doesn’t all have to be war.”

Still, del Toro is riding that Latinx representation wave, and that is an area that is hugely in need of increased inclusion. Check out his beautiful and sweet speech above.

Bonus points for Emma Stone introducing “four men and Greta Gerwig.” Zing!

While I’m disappointed that neither Get Out nor Lady Bird took home their biggest prizes, I’m glad that they were beat out by someone for whom winning an Oscar is also an important moment for a marginalized community, and the fact that Guillermo del Toro, Jordan Peele, and Greta Gerwig were all nominated in the same categories means there’s hope for the Academy yet.

(image: screencap)

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