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Alfonso Cuarón

Alfonso Cuarón Orozco (b. 28 November 1961) is an Academy Award-nominated Mexican film director, screenwriter and film producer. Some of his works include Y tu mamá también, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men.


Alfonso Cuarón was born in México City. He is the son of Juan Chico, a magician who worked for the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency sector for many years.

Early career

He studied Philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and filmmaking at CUEC (Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos), a faculty of 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. The controversy caused by the fact that the film was shot in English was the reason he was expelled from the Film School. He began working in television in Mexico, first as a technician and then as a director. Cuarón's 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.

Sólo con tu pareja

Sólo con tu pareja was a sex comedy about a womanizing businessman (played by Daniel Giménez Cacho), who after spurning a hot nurse, is fooled into believing he's contracted HIV. 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, and was enthusiastically received around the world. Director Sydney Pollack was so impressed with Sólo con tu pareja that he 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

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 Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna. 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 Potter fans for his approach to the film. Cuarón's rather more aggressive adaptation (with a darker tone, costume changes, omitted subplots and other changes to the accepted continuity) came as something of a shock to many fans. At the time of the movie's release, however, author J.K. Rowling said that it was her personal favorite from the series so far. Critically, the film was also better received than the first two installments, with some critics remarking that it was the first Potter film to truly capture the essence of the novels.

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 both Editing (with Alex Rodríguez) and Adapted Screenplay (with several collaborators).

He created the production and distribution company Esperanto Films, which has credits on the films Duck Season and Pan's Labyrinth.

Awards and nominations


Feature films

Short films

Documentary films

  • The Possibility of Hope (2007) Short


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

Related Article

Alfonso Cuarón's Y Tu Mamá También at


External links

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