Saturday 23 March 2019

Alfonso Cuaron tipped to win second directing Oscar in five years

The Mexican filmmaker already has an Academy Award for Gravity.

Alfonso Cuaron (Ian West/PA)
Alfonso Cuaron (Ian West/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Hailed as an auteur at the height of his powers, Alfonso Cuaron is tipped to win his second best director Oscar in five years.

The Mexican filmmaker has been widely lauded for Roma, his autobiographical film based on his childhood in Mexico City, which focuses on the young indigenous woman who took care of him.

He has already collected a Golden Globe, Bafta and Directors Guild of America prize for the black-and-white, Spanish-language epic and is expected to add an Oscar that haul, for the film he also wrote, produced, edited and filmed.

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Alfonso Cuaron with his Best Film and Best Director Baftas (Ian West/PA)

After making his Hollywood debut in 1995 with A Little Princess, based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, he followed it up with Great Expectations in 1998, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke in the modern telling of the Dickens classic.

He also tasted box office success with Harry Potter And the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004, hailed by many fans as the best film in the franchise.

He landed his first Oscar nomination in 2003 for the screenplay for his semi-autobiographical road-trip saga Y Tu Mama Tambien, followed up with another nod for the screenplay and editing of Children Of Men in 2007.

He finally took home a trophy in 2014, when he was named best director for Gravity, becoming the first Mexican filmmaker to win the prize.

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Alfonso Cuaron with Angelina Jolie at the Oscars in 2013 (Ian West/PA)

Two more have since followed, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for both Birdman in 2015 and The Revenant in 2016 and Guillermo Del Toro in 2018 for The Shape Of Water.

The trio are close friends and are known in the industry as The Three Amigos.

Gravity ultimately won seven Oscars in total, including the editing prize for Cuaron and Mark Sanger but lost out in the best picture category to 12 Years A Slave.

But it is Roma that is seen as his biggest achievement to date, a deeply personal and intimate testament.

As well as directing, he is nominated for the film’s screenplay, which he penned by himself, and for the film’s cinematography, another category he is widely tipped to win.

The film was released on Netflix but was also shown in cinemas in the US, UK and Mexico, and has become the first movie released by a streaming service to be nominated for best picture.

If it wins, it will be the first foreign language film to take the prize.

The Oscars will be handed out at the Dolby Theatre on February 24.

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