“I am an immigrant, like many, many of you, and in the last 25 years, I’ve been living in a country all of our own,” he said, taking the stage following a standing ovation.
“Part of it is here, part of it is Europe, part of it is everywhere, because I think the greatest thing that our industry does is erase the line in the sand,” the filmmaker said. “We should continue doing that, when the world tells us to make it deeper.”
Del Toro then thanked Fox Searchlight for listening to a “mad pitch” and believing “the movie would be a sure bet.”
“I want to thank the people that have come with me all the way,” he continued, thanking a long list of contributors.
He invoked Jimmy Cagney in “Yankee Doodle Dandy” by saying, “My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my brothers and sisters thank you, and I thank you!”
Del Toro has been the frontrunner on the circuit for months, after winning the Golden Globe, the Critics’ Choice prize, the Directors Guild Award, and the British Academy Film Award. He also received the lion’s share of kudos on the critics’ awards circuit in the fall.
The other nominees were Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”), Jordan Peele (“Get Out”), Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), and Paul Thomas Anderson (“Phantom Thread”).