The 2018 Academy Awards were not completely inclusive, but there was a big change in representation; viewers with a love and pride for Mexican culture were bursting of joy, and here’s why. Guillermo del Toro Gómez is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, and producer. His newest film, The Shape of Water, won Best Picture at the 90th annual Academy Awards. He was also awarded Best Director for his work with the film. The fact that a fantasy film went this far at the Oscars is remarkable—there are few sci-fi or fantasy films that have even gotten nominated for Best Picture, and even fewer that actually won the award.
Pixar’s Coco is an animated film about a Mexican child with a passion for music who takes an accidental trip to the Land of the Dead; ultimately, the movie celebrates many aspects of Mexican culture. Coco won the Oscar for Animated Feature; the movie's song, "Remember Me," won for Original Song. “Remember Me” was performed by actor Gael García Bernal and singers Natalia LaFourcade and Miguel. Miguel spoke to E! News about the importance of this movie as a Mexican-American. “For a movie like this, knowing that it’s representing the Latino population, and being of Mexican descent, it’s incredibly meaningful, man,” he told E! News, “So yes, I do know how much it means and I want to represent for all the Latinos out there. I really, really do. I’m honored. I’m honored.” Oh, and another thing: Coco's co-director, Adrián Molina, is Mexican-American.
But wait, there are also the Latin American credentials of the Best Foreign Film, A Fantastic Woman. The Chilean film director, Sebastián Leilo, was born in Argentina, but the drama is both set in Chile and its main star is Chilean transgender singer Daniela Vega.
This could be considered a big win for Mexico and Latin America, considering the subsequent reaction on social media. Guillermo del Toro’s name trended, and many took to the internet to highlight the achievements of Latin American filmmakers. Guillermo del Toro even talked about how he is an immigrant and acknowledged that most of the Latino population are immigrants as well. As said by Oscar-winning Coco director Lee Unkrich,“Representation matters.”