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Cuaron aims to be first Mexican to win best director Oscar

Afonso Cuaron will be hoping  to add an Oscar to his trophy cabinet after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated him as a candidate for best director for his acclaimed space epic “Gravity.”

The Mexican director nabbed the best director gong at last weekend’s Golden Globes, shutting out movie luminaries such as Martin Scorsese and Alexander Payne.

Cuaron’s “Gravity” has been nominated for ten Oscars, along with “American Hustle.”  “Twelve Years A Slave” has nine.

Mexico City-born Cuaron was a film obsessed youngster who shot to fame in Mexico in 1991 with his first feature, “Sólo Con Tu Pareja. He moved to Los Angeles where he directed “A Little Princess” (1995) with Richard Gere and “Great Expectations” (1998), a modernization of Charles Dickens’ classic story with Ethen Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow.

In 2001, he teamed up with producer Jorge Vergara (owner of the Guadalajara Chivas soccer team) to make the critically acclaimed “Y Tu Mamá También,” about two teenage boys and an older woman who embark on a road trip in Mexico.  His deft handling of young actors led to an invitation  to direct the third Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” in 2004. It went on to make 250 million dollars at the U.S. box office and many critics say his film is the best of the Harry Potter series.

Two years later Cuaron directed “Children of Men,” a futuristic, dystopian story set in England.  Over the next six years he produced several films but kept himself away from the feature director’s chair until “Gravity,” which tells the story of a medical engineer and an astronaut who work together to survive an accident that has left them adrift in space.


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