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Alfonso Cuaron Orozco picture, image, poster
Alfonso Cuaron Orozco

Date of birth : 1961-11-28
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Mexico City, Mexico
Nationality : Mexican
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-08-16

Alfonso Cuarón Orozco is a Mexican Academy Award-nominated film director, screenwriter and producer. He is the son of Alfredo Cuarón, a cardiologist who worked for the United Nations' IAEA sector for many years. He has three siblings, Alfredo, Carlos and Cristina; and two half sisters, Christina and Elisa.

Cuarón studied philosophy at the "UNAM" National Autonomous University of Mexico and filmmaking at CUEC (Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos) part of the same University. After graduating, 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 was a dark comedy about a womanizing businessman who learns he's contracted HIV; the film was a massive hit in Mexico, and was enthusiastically received around the world. Director Sydney Pollack was impressed enough with Sólo con tu pareja that he hired Cuaron 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.

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 is 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 puritanical Potter fans for his approach to the film. Given that the first two installments, helmed by Chris Columbus, had adhered stringently to the books, 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 newest feature, Children of Men, an adaptation of the P. D. James novel starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine, has received wide critical acclaim, including three Academy Award nominations. Cuarón himself received two nominations for his work on the film in both Editing and Adapted Screenplay.

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

As director:

* The Memory of Running (2007) (announced)
* The History of Love (2007) (announced)
* Rudo y Cursi (2007) (announced)
* México '68 (2007) (announced)
* Children of Men (2006)
* Paris, je t'aime (2006)
* Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
* Y tu mamá también (2001)
* Great Expectations (1998)
* A Little Princess (1995)
* Sólo con tu pareja (1991)

As screenwriter:

* Children of Men (2006)
* Paris, je t'aime (2006) (segment "Parc Monceau")
* Y tu mamá también (2001)
* Sístole Diástole (1997)
* Sólo con tu pareja (1991)
* Who's He Anyway (1983)
* Cuarteto para el fin del tiempo (1983)

As producer:

* The History of Love (2007) (announced)
* The Memory of Running (2007) (announced)
* México '68 (2007) (announced)
* El Laberinto del Fauno (2006) (English title: Pan's Labyrinth)
* The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004)
* Crónicas (2004) (producer)
* Y tu mamá también (2001) (producer)
* Sólo con tu pareja (1991) (producer)
* Camino largo a Tijuana (1991) (co-producer)


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