The 5 Best Alfonso Cuarón Movies
Mexican director, writer, producer, and cinematographer Alfonso Cuarón, has been credited with some of the most masterful films in recent memory. His films are known to have what would be called an unvarnished look at society, humanity, family, and nature in a way that makes audiences connect to them. For his work Alfonso Cuarón has been nominated for and won multiple awards, including the Golden Globes, and Oscars for Best Cinematography and Best Director for Gravity (2013) making him the first Latin American to win the award, and ROMA (2019).
Cuarón began his career in the film industry working on Mexican Telenovelas, then onto film with the comedy Sólo con Tu Pareja, he made his transition to North American TV with Fallen Angels. Though his first feature film wasn’t Y Tu Mamá También, it was his first international success, and quickly became a cult classic. Whether he’s exploring the bonds of friendship, the panic of being stranded in space, a dystopian future, or children gifted with special abilities as in his 2014 his science fiction series Believe, Cuarón continues to give audiences thrilling and thought-provoking cinematic experiences.
Set in the early 1970s, Mexico City, the lives of Cleo (Yalitzia Aparicio), and the family she works for are turned upside down when unexpected challenges arise. As expected from a Cuarón film, ROMA has interconnecting storylines, held together with a strong script, and stellar performances from Aparicio – in her acting debut – and Maria de Tavira. The lives of domestic workers have very rarely been the main subject of film, but in ROMA, the life of Cleo is front and center, without her and Aparicio, the heart of the film would be lost.
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Children of Men
It’s 2027, the world is in chaos, and humanity is on the cusp of possible extinction. After the world’s youngest person dies, it seems that all hope is lost, until former activist Theo Farron (Clive Owen) is tasked with protecting Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey), a young woman whose pregnancy defies all odds. With Children of Men Cuarón made what is probably one of the most prescient films ever made. In a dystopian world where capitalism still functions, and men look down at the world crumbling around them, the film serves as a cautionary tale of where the world could be heading if we aren’t careful.
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As much as space travel has always fascinated humans, but it has also terrified us, and in this film about two astronauts Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney). become stranded in space after their shuttle is damaged by debris, those fears are realized in stunning CGI and brilliant acting. If there was one word that could be used to describe Gravity – besides the name of the film itself – it would be intense. Through the use of captivating long takes, close-ups of Bullock, and even the at times oppressive absence of sound, Cuarón explores how fragile the human body is, compared to the strength of the psyche.
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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
In this third installment of the hugely popular franchise, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) has learned that the murderer of his parents Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), has been released from Azkaban Prison an is on his way to Hogwarts to kill him. Assisted by his best friends Hemione (Emma Watson), Ron (Rupert Grint), Harry rushes to turn the tables on his new foe, before it’s too late. With the use of unique special effects and time manipulation, he gave the story a fresh take that pleased the diehard fans of both the films and books. Cuarón gave the story a darker visual tone and maturity than had been seen in the previous movies, something he would be known for his future films.
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Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
While their girlfriends travel to Europe for the summer, two best friends Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal), go on an impromptu road trip and invite the wife of an acquaintance, Luisa (Maribel Verdú). On their journey they learn about the different ways friendship can the tested, sex and class and wealth disparities. As both director and writer, Cuarón created a film with multiple layers of stories, told through the eyes of characters that connected with audiences, especially Luisa. Cuarón allowed Luisa to be her own person, and that’s not something we don’t see often in films where there are two male leads.
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