Guillermo del Toro Wins DGA for "The Shape of Water," Cementing His Film As The Best Picture Front-runner

Yesterday Guillermo del Toro won the Directors Guild of America. Now, let's just pause for a moment and ponder what that means. This essentially positions "The Shape of Water" to win Best Picture come Oscar night on March 4th. After all, the film's already won the Producers Guild of America. Usually, when a film wins both of these prizes, it's a no-brainer to believe it will also win the Oscar. However, what I'm noticing, is a kind of reluctance to admit that "The Shape of Water" will win it all. Why? Are they ashamed to admit that they fucked up once again? It's the safe choice for many since the other best movies of 2017 all took risks that were enough to divide the voting body. "Get Out"? Too much genre. "Lady Bird"? Too episodic. "Dunkirk"? Too little emotional investment. "Call Me By Your Name"? Too gay. "The Florida Project"? Too EVERYTHING. The latter wasn't even nominated. Del Toro's film isn't bad at all, it's a visionary, lavishly cinematic take on "Creature From the Black Lagoon." But that's pretty much it. If "The Shape of Water" wins the top prize on March 4th then it will go down, with recent winners "Argo," "The Artist," "The King's Speech," "Slumdog Millionaire," as an underwhelming, potentially forgettable winner. I'm willing to give it another shot in the coming week, and I will, but I'm not too sure it is an indisputably great movie. The industry knows that as well but is going along with it.