Guillermo del Toro’s Academy Award-nominated film, The Shape of Water, is set to hit theaters in France, and acclaimed French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet recently charged del Toro with copying a scene from his 1991 movie Delicatessen. While speaking with Ouest France, Jeunet took particular issue with a scene that finds two seated characters imitating a dance routine.
“When he stakes the scene of the couple sitting on the edge of the bed dancing with their feet, with the musical in the background on TV, it is so copied and pasted Delicatessen that there is a moment when I say to myself that he lacks self-esteem,” Jeunet said.
The scene in question from del Toro’s film features actors Sally Hawkins and Richard Spencer imitating a choreographed dance routine while seated next to each other on a couch. You can view the scene above, and the dance routine takes place at approximately the 28-second mark.
Jeunet’s Delicatessen also showcased two actors seated next to each other, although they are on a bed instead of a couch. The scene featured both characters watching a choreographed dance routine before performing the moves in tandem. You can view the Delicatessen scene below, and the dancing scene occurs at the 50-second mark.
Last week, del Toro faced plagiarism allegations from both a Dutch student filmmaker and the family of playwright Paul Zindel.
While Jeunet added that he and other directors have commonly referenced each other’s scenes both knowingly and unknowingly, he indicated del Toro had purposely copied his scene without attributing proper credit.
“Even the bathroom of Delicatessen, she was already in an old Laurel and Hardy,” Jeunet said of his own picture. “I only realized it years later when I saw it. So Guillermo could very well say that it comes from there. But it is obvious that he had Delicatessen in mind.”
Jeunet’s previous credits include Amelie, and Alien: Resurrection. Per Ouest France, del Toro had not responded to the publication’s request for a response at press time.