Mar 02

Director Guillermo del Toro calls ‘The Shape of Water’ a “parable” for troubled times

Amanda Edwards/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — The Shape of Water goes into the Oscars on Sunday night with the most nominations, 13, including a nod for Best Picture. Director Guillermo Del Toro hopes movies like this one, which stars Best Actress nominee Sally Hawkins as a mute cleaning lady who falls in love with a half man/half sea creature, can offer an alternative to all the darkness in the world today.

“You can tell the world is difficult, you can tell the world has evil, but then you use these parables to talk about absolutes like love, hope, the abandonment of fear, the love of the other, empathy — they are perfect,” Del Toro tells ABC News.

The Shape of Water is one of Del Toro’s most personal films to date, and, as someone who left his native Mexico for the United States, the director sees himself in the creature, who is “out of the water, out of his river, and taken to another place where he needs to learn to survive and identify with each other.”

“That’s the beauty of the movie,” he adds. “It’s about a bunch of lonely people coming together. That’s basically the story of all of us.”

Del Toro is a heavy favorite to win best director, but he tells ABC News that he couldn’t even figure out how to watch the televised unveiling of the Oscar nominations when they were revealed in January.

“We couldn’t find the channel,” he admits. “And so we started watching on a little iPad, with the TV on, this massive TV, we couldn’t find the channel.” 

The 90th Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, airs live Sunday night starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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