Pan’s Labyrinth has won the FIBRESCI Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year at the 2007 Palm Springs International Film Festival. The film, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, has been hailed by critics as one of the best films of the year. Pan’s Labyrinth combines fantasy and reality in a film that has pleased audiences worldwide.
El Labirinto Del Fauno, as the film is known outside the U.S., has been subject to endless praise. The fantasy film masterfully tells the story of a girl obsesses with fantasy stories that one day becomes trapped in her own world. The story is set in Spain in 1944. During this time, the country was at war. This comes into play because Del Toro craftily blends Ofelia’s (Ivana Baquero) world with the war and its conflicts. Pan’s Labyrinth’s Art-Direction is also award worthy and exhibits its strength with the jaw-dropping creatures featured in the film. Pan (Doug Jones) is a creature that conjures up childhood memories for viewers with his magical and fantastic appearance. Visual tools are used very effectively to tell the story that takes viewers on a journey through the creative mind of a little girl.
Pans Labyrinth is a great achievement for Guillermo Del Toro as he has worked very hard to bring this film to fruition and for his general success. Del Toro first developed his interest in filmmaking when he was a teenager. He learned about makeup and effects from Dick Smith (The Exorcist) and began working on his own short films. At the young age of 21, Del Toro was an executive producer for his first feature, Dona Herlinda and Her Son (1986). He spent almost 10 years as a makeup supervisor and, in the early 1980s, formed his own company, Necropia.
In 1992, Del Toro got his first big break with Cronos, which won nine academy awards in Mexico and also won the International Critics Week prize at Cannes. After the success of Cronos, Del Toro made Mimic (1997), his first Hollywood film. With Mimic, Del Toro has a bad experience working with a Hollywood Studio that has many demands and this prompted his return to Mexico to create his own production company, The Tequila Gang.
Del Toro’s next film was a Spanish Civil War ghost story entitled The Devil’s Backbone (2001). The movie was praised by audiences and critics and this caused Del Toro to attempt another Hollywood movie; he directed the vampire flick, Blade II (2002). Del Toro followed up Blade II with another successful comic-book inspired film, Hellboy. Hellboy starred one of Del Toro’s favorite actors, Ron Perlman.
Guillermo Del Toro endured a long road of trouble and experimentation in his films to reach his current position. He has found success with his unique vision and expertise in make-up and effects. Pan’s Labyrinth exhibits Del Toro’s magnificent direction and unique vision for film. Del Toro’s style can be seen as a cinematic example of the Latin American literary genre of magic realism and he has exhibited the genre’s characteristics very well in Pan’s Labyrinth. El Labirinto Del Fauno is sure to continue pleasing audiences with its masterful set-up, brilliant direction, and jaw-dropping visuals. The film is continuing to garner awards and recognition and could quite possibly be nominated for a number of Academy Awards come February.