Name: Alfonso Cuarón
Date of Birth: 28/1/1961
Place of Birth: Mexico City, Mexico

Soló con tu pareja (Love in the Time of Hysteria) (1991)
A Little Princess (1995)
Great Expectations (1997)
Y tu Mamá También (And Your Mother Too) (2001)
The Children of Men (2003)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Mexico '68

Born in Mexico City in the early 60s, there was no reason to think Alfonso Cuaron would make any impact on the world of Hollywood. Cuarón started work in Mexican TV and the 1991 Mexican film Soló con tu pareja about AIDS announced his arrival on the big screen. Sydney Pollack brought Cuarón over to the US to direct an episode of Fallen Angels (on which Sydney Pollack was executive producer), for which Cuarón won some kind of cable TV award.

Cuarón then went on to direct his first English language movie - A Little Princess, an adaptation of a Frances Hodgson Burnett story about a young girl forced into servitude at a boarding school while looking for her lost father. The film was critically acclaimed but flopped rather miserably on its release.

Next came an adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, Great Expectations. This was Cuarón's first 'big' film, starring Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow and the legendary Robert De Niro. It is a reworking of the original, plunging the characters (whose names are also changed) and story into modern day New York and the Florida coast. While good, the film lacks a certain something (chemistry between the leads?), but the cinematography is superb and some of the images are extremely memorable.

Cuarón returned to his native Mexico for his next project, Y tu Mamá También. A movie about class struggles, friendship and sex, this is the one which should really give Cuarón his reputation. The acting is truly excellent (the two male leads are best friends in real life), the script (co-written with brother Carlos Cuarón) exceptional and the gritty shots of modern day Mexico thought-provoking.

Next was The Children of Men, based on the book by P. D. James, about a near-future where all men have become sterile and is the story of the first woman to become pregnant in 27 years. I (and imdb by the looks of things) know absolutely nothing about this project, so any information would be appreciated.

Chris Columbus chose Alfonso to follow his lead in directing the Harry Potter movies after watching A Little Princess. Presumably impressed, and wanting some time to spend with his family, the director of Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets happily handed over the reigns to the relatively unknown Mexican. It was a brave decision, and one that appears to have worked. The third Harry Potter film is suitably dark and very assuredly directed. Daniel Radcliffe is a noticably better actor (although still not great) and there's even an appearance by ex-Stone Rose, Ian Brown.
the stupendous

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