Alfonso Cuarón

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This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Cuarón and the second or maternal family name is Orozco.
Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón 2013 (cropped).jpg
Alfonso Cuarón in July 2013.
Born Alfonso Cuarón Orozco
(1961-11-28) November 28, 1961 (age 52)
Mexico City, Mexico
Residence London, United Kingdom
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, producer, editor
Years active 1983–present
Notable work(s) Y Tu Mamá También
Children of Men
Gravity
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Spouse(s) Mariana Elizondo (1980–1993)
Annalisa Bugliani (2001–2008)
Partner(s) Sheherazade Goldsmith

Alfonso Cuarón Orozco (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈfonso kwaˈɾon]; born November 28, 1961) is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer and editor best known for his films A Little Princess (1995), Y Tu Mamá También (2001), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Children of Men (2006), and Gravity (2013). His fantasy adventure series Believe is currently being broadcast on NBC.

Most of his work has been praised by both audience and critics, and he has been nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Original Screenplay for Y Tu Mamá También, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing for Children of Men, and Best Picture for Gravity, winning Best Director and Best Film Editing for Gravity. For the same film, he also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Director and the BAFTA Awards for Best British Film and Best Direction. He also won a BAFTA Award for Best Film not in the English Language as one of the producers of Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth.

Cuarón's brother Carlos, as well as his son Jonás, are writers and directors as well and both acted as co-writers in some of his works. He is also friends with fellow Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu, collectively known as "The Three Amigos of Cinema."

Early life[edit]

Alfonso Cuarón was born in Mexico City, and is the son of Alfredo Cuarón, a nuclear physicist who worked for the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency for many years. He has two brothers, Carlos, also a filmmaker, and Alfredo, a conservation biologist.

Cuarón studied Philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and filmmaking at CUEC (Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos), a school within the same University. There, he met director Carlos Marcovich and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, and they made what would be his first short film, Vengeance Is Mine.

Career[edit]

Cuarón began working in television in Mexico, first as a technician and then as a director. His television work led to assignments as an assistant director for several Latin American film productions including Gaby: A True Story and Romero, and in 1991, he landed his first big-screen directorial assignment. On January 12, 2014, Alfonso accepted the Golden Globe Award in the category Best Director for Gravity (The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards, 2014). He also won two Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Director.

Sólo con tu pareja[edit]

Sólo con tu pareja was a sex comedy about a womanizing businessman (played by Daniel Giménez Cacho) who, after spurning an attractive nurse, is fooled into believing he's contracted AIDS. In addition to writing, producing and directing, Cuarón co-edited the film with Luis Patlán. It is somewhat unusual for directors to be credited co-editors, although the Coen Brothers and Robert Rodriguez have both directed and edited nearly all of their films. Cuarón continued this close involvement in editing on several of his later films.

The film, which also starred cabaret singer Astrid Hadad and model/actress Claudia Ramírez (with whom Cuarón was linked between 1989 and 1993), was a big hit in Mexico. After this success, director Sydney Pollack hired Cuarón to direct an episode of Fallen Angels, a series of neo-noir stories produced for the Showtime premium cable network in 1993; other directors who worked on the series included Steven Soderbergh, Jonathan Kaplan, Peter Bogdanovich and Tom Hanks.

International success[edit]

In 1995, Cuarón released his first feature film produced in the United States, A Little Princess, an adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic novel. Cuarón's next feature was also a literary adaptation, a modernized version of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations starring Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert De Niro.

Cuarón's next project found him returning to Mexico with a Spanish-speaking cast to film Y Tu Mamá También, starring Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna and Maribel Verdú. It was a provocative and controversial road comedy about two sexually obsessed teenagers who take an extended road trip with an attractive married woman in her late twenties. The film's open portrayal of sexuality and frequent rude humor, as well as the politically and socially relevant asides, made the film an international hit and a major success with critics. Cuarón shared an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay with co-writer and brother Carlos Cuarón.

In 2003, Cuarón directed the third film in the successful Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Cuarón faced criticism from some of the more purist Harry Potter fans for his approach to the film. At the time of the movie's release, however, author J. K. Rowling, who had seen and loved Cuarón's film Y Tu Mamá También, said that it was her personal favorite from the series so far.[1] Critically, the film was also better received than the first two installments, with some critics remarking that it was the first Harry Potter film to truly capture the essence of the novels.[2] It remained as the most critically acclaimed film of the Harry Potter film franchise until the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.

Cuarón's feature Children of Men, an adaptation of the P. D. James novel starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine, received wide critical acclaim, including three Academy Award nominations. Cuarón himself received two nominations for his work on the film in Best Film Editing (with Alex Rodríguez) and Best Adapted Screenplay (with several collaborators).

He created the production and distribution company Esperanto Filmoj (Esperanto Films, named because of his support for the international language Esperanto[3]), which has credits in the films Duck Season, Pan's Labyrinth, and Gravity.

Cuarón also directed the controversial public service announcement "I Am Autism" for Autism Speaks that was sharply criticized by disability rights groups for its negative portrayal of autism.[4]

In 2010, Cuarón began to develop the film Gravity, a drama set in space. He was joined by producer David Heyman, with whom Cuarón worked on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the film was released in the fall of 2013[5] and opened the 70th Venice International Film Festival in August.[6] The film received ten Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Cuarón won the Academy Award for Best Director, becoming the first Latino to win the award, while he and Mark Sanger shared the award for Best Film Editing.

In 2013, Cuarón created Believe, a science fiction/fantasy/adventure series that is being broadcast as part of the 2013–14 United States network television schedule on NBC as a mid-season entry. The series was created by Cuarón for Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television. In 2014, TIME placed him in its list of "100 Most Influential People in the World" - Pioneers. [7]

Personal life[edit]

Cuarón has been living in London since 2000.[8] He was married to Italian actress and freelance journalist Annalisa Bugliani from 2001 to 2008. They have two children: daughter Tess Bu Cuarón (born 2003) and son Olmo Teodoro Cuarón (born 2005).

Filmography[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Year Film Credited as
Director Writer Producer Editor Assistant director Associate producer
1986 Les Pyramides Bleues Yes
1989 Romero Yes
1991 Sólo con tu pareja Yes Yes Yes Yes
1995 A Little Princess Yes
1998 Great Expectations Yes
2001 Y Tu Mamá También Yes Yes Yes Yes
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Yes
Crónicas Yes
The Assassination of Richard Nixon Yes
2005 Black Sun Yes
2006 Children of Men Yes Yes Yes
Pan's Labyrinth Yes
2007 Year of the Nail Yes
2008 Rudo y Cursi Yes
2010 Biutiful Yes
2013 Gravity Yes Yes Yes Yes

Short films[edit]

  • Who's He Anyway (1983)
  • Vengeance Is Mine (1983) Co-director
  • Cuarteto para el fin del tiempo (1983)
  • Paris, je t'aime (2006) (segment "Parc Monceau")
  • The Shock Doctrine (2007) Co-writer and Producer (a short film directed by his son Jonás Cuarón, different than book with same name)[9]

Documentary films[edit]

  • The Possibility of Hope (2007) Short

TV[edit]

  • La Hora Marcada (1986) (episodes "Ángel Pérez", "El taxi", "Zangamanga", "No estoy jugando" and "A veces regresa")
  • Fallen Angels (1993) (episode "Murder, Obliquely")
  • Believe (2014)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2001 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion
Y tu mamá también
Nominated
Best Screenplay Won
2003 Academy Awards Best Screenplay - Original Nominated
British Academy Film Awards Best Film Not in the English Language Nominated
Best Screenplay - Original Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best Foreign Film Won
2004 British Academy Film Awards BAFTA Children's Award - Best Feature Film
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Won
Saturn Awards Best Director Nominated
2005 British Academy Film Awards Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film Nominated
2006 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion
Children of Men
Nominated
Laterna Magica Prize Won
Saturn Awards Best Director Nominated
2007 Academy Awards Best Screenplay - Adapted Nominated
Best Editing Nominated
British Academy Film Awards Best Film Not in the English Language
Pan's Labyrinth
Won
Independent Spirit Awards Best Feature Nominated
2011 British Academy Film Awards BAFTA Children's Award - First Light Awards - Kids' Vote for Film of the Decade
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Won
Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema
Harry Potter series (shared with Harry Potter cast and crew)
Won
2013 Venice Film Festival Future Film Digital Award
Gravity
Won
2014 Academy Awards Best Picture Nominated
Best Director Won
Best Film Editing Won
British Academy Film Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Director Won
Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film Won
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Best Editing Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Award Best Director Won
Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures Won
Empire Awards Best Director Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Director Won
Producers Guild of America Award Best Theatrical Motion Picture Won
Saturn Award Best Director Won
Silver Condor Award Best Foreign Film Pending

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]