Sunday, March 2, 2014

Alfonso Cuarón Captures Historic Oscar

Alfonso Cuarón of Mexico won the Academy Award for Best Director in recognition of his work for the space thriller Gravity.

Thanks to you mom; I wouldn’t be here it weren’t for you,” Cuarón said in Spanish as he made history by becoming the first Latin American to win the Oscar for top director.

Cuarón also thanked Gravity's actors and crew including his son, Jonás, who helped co-write the film that won seven Oscars tonight.

The 52-year-old also was one of the two winners of the Oscar for Best Editing for Gravity, a movie that helped him capture best director honors at the BAFTAs and Golden Globes.

Cuarón also served as director for 1995 drama A Little Princess, 2001 coming-of-age tale Y Tu Mamá También and 2004 fantasy Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban amongst others.

Earlier in the evening, Lupita Nyong'o captured the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of Patsey in 12 Years a Slave.

"No matter where you're from, your dreams are valid," was the inspirational message said by Nyong'o after receiving the Oscar.

"It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is due to so much pain in someone else's" added Nyong'o who won the Oscar one day after her thirty-first birthday.

Born in Mexico City, Nyong'o lived in Mexico and was reportedly named after the Virgin of Guadalupe.  She was nearly the age of one when her parents took her to Kenya but return to the Latin American nation when she was sixteen-years-old in order to learn Spanish.

"I've seen others fight over my nationality but I'm Kenyan and Mexican at the same time.  That's why I insist that I'm Mexican-Kenyan and I love carne asada tacos", Nyong'o said prior to tonight's ceremony.

Prior to her breakout role in the film that won the Best Picture Oscar, Nyong'o worked on the production crew of several films.  One of these movies was 2005 drama The Constant Gardner that was directed by Fernando Meirelles of Brazil.

Aside from Nyong'o and Cuarón, Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki won for his work on Gravity.

"I want to thank the Academy for this amazing award. I want to share this award with the cast and crew, especially with my friend and my teacher Alfonso Cuarón," said Lubezki who also worked with the Gravity director on Y Tu Mama Tambien.

Numerous recently deceased figures in the motion picture industry were recognized including veteran Latina actress Carmen Zapata and Brazilian documentarian Eduardo Coutinho.

The unrest in several parts around the world like Venezuela has not gone unnoticed by numerous celebrities including Best Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto.

“To all of the dreamers out there around the world watching this tonight, in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela, I want to say, ‘we are here,’” Leto said. “As you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight.”

The hashtag #OscarsForVenezuela has been promoted by the Venezuelan opposition in order to call attention to the anti-government protests that have taken place daily for the past few weeks.  Government officials like Information Minister Delcy Rodríguez criticized “right-wing extremists who are lobbying in Hollywood looking for declarations against Venezuela during the Oscars!”

Online Sources – El Universal;; CNN; BBC News; The Guardian;; Latin Times; Milenio

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