Director Guillermo del Toro has told RTÉ Entertainment that his new Cold War fantasy movie, The Shape of Water, relates to today "perfectly".

The 53-year-old Mexican film director says his Oscar-buzzed fantasy film, which takes place during the Space Race and when Kennedy was in the White House, and also at a time when "America believes it was great" is very much a movie for right now.

Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment, he said: "The movie is about today. It is not about ’62 but '62 relates to today perfectly. 

Sally Hawkins plays a cleaner who falls in love with a fish-man (Doug Jones)
Sally Hawkins plays a cleaner who falls in love with a fish-man (Doug Jones)

"The same problems we have today were real in ’62 - Cold War, racism, sexism, the need for marginalising people that are ‘different’ and the violence against them - all of that was alive then.

"It was a time when America believes it was great but it was a hollow dream because it was post-war and everybody was in an economic boom, and the Space Race was on, and Kennedy was in the White House, and cars and suburban homes and all of that.

"But if you were a minority, you didn’t have it very easy. If you were not a man, a WASP and a heterosexual man, then things were very different," he added.

The Shape of Water, which centres on a cleaner (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with a fish-man (Doug Jones) in a covert U.S. research laboratory, dominated this year's Oscar nods with an impressive 13 nominations.

del Toro admits the concept of the film was floating around his head since he was a young boy, and says it is a project that he felt personally attached to.

"This movie is one of those that doesn't happen all the time. I've been doing this for 25 years and that's happened a few times, that you have a clarity that you need to make the movie."

"It’s not that you need the movie, the movie needs you".

The Shape of Water hits cinemas nationwide on February 16th.

Read our five-star review here.