“The Shape of Water” and “Call Me by Your Name” creators explain why their films resonate

Guillermo del Toro on “The Shape of Water” set/ Photo by Kerry Hayes. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation(LOS ANGELES) — The Shape of Water and Call Me by Your Name each picked up multiple Oscar nominations when the honors were announced on Tuesday, and the teams behind them had some thoughts on why their films did so well.

The Shape of Water grabbed the most nods with 13, including best film, and if it wins, two men will get that award — writer/director Guillermo Del Toro, and producer J. Miles Dale. Dale tells ABC Radio the nominations are validation for Del Toro, explaining that the film he calls “a Cold War thriller…a metaphor for what’s going on in the world today,” is “a total expression of [del Toro’s] heart and his soul right now.”

“It’s his most personal movie ever, he’ll tell you that. It’s his most grown up movie ever. So, I think he feels really validated in the recognition,” adds Dale.

Call Me by Your Name — with four nominations — has been a critical darling for months now, and director Luca Guadagnino [gwa-dah-NEE-no] told ABC Radio he thinks the film’s empathy is what resonates with people.

“I think we live in very aggressive times,” he explains, “and people connect with the sweet touch of mirroring view in the eyes of the other, instead of confronting with the other.”

The film’s star, Timothee Chalamet, also is nominated for his lead role in the film, and Guadagnino explained what makes Chalamet — who would be the youngest best actor Oscar winner ever, at 22 — so great.

“He’s a very vivid, feverish young man,” says Guadagnino. “He knows what he wants, and he also is very beautifully innocent. It’s a great [mix] of things, and it makes his talent shine.”

The 90th annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, air on ABC March 4.

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