Alfonso Cuarón

 

1991
Sólo con tu pareja 38
[ The well-worn tale of a womanizer uneasily juggling various female conquests, vaudeville-style, Cuarón’s first Mexican sex comedy comes off as contrived and phony as his later “Y tu mamá también” would be natural and heartfelt. The characters are dull, almost every gag falls flat and the irreverent handling of AIDS is rather ill-thought. Still, it has a not unenjoyable breezy feel, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s already got a seemingly effortlessly virtuoso way with light and color, and actress Claudia Ramírez is absolutely gorgeous. You might as well watch it without subtitles, take in the beauty of the visuals and pretend the plot and dialogue aren’t so dumb! ]

 

1995
A Little Princess 80
[ In retrospect, after watching this, it’s obvious why Cuarón was hired to direct a Harry Potter episode. What a magical movie! It tells of how “all girls are princesses”, of the special bond between a father and a daughter and of the power of imagination, but it also deals with war, death, poverty, and even the occasional necessity to mistrust rules and authority. With splendid craftsmanship all around and a luminous performance from young Liesel Matthews, this made me cry like a little princess! ]

 

1998
Great Expectations 76
[ I have no idea why I didn’t see this Dickens adaptation before – it’s as good a contemporized classic rom-com as “Cruel Intentions” and like that film, it also features a great soundtrack (Tori Amos, Pulp, Iggy Pop). It also offers further evidence of Cuarón and Lubezki’s genius visual sense, with many casually dazzling long takes and lots of bright greens, like in “A Little Princess”. It also shares with the latter some thematic elements, notably class divisions and the redemptive effect of art (here painting instead of storytelling). There’s still magic at work as well, but of a more mature, sensual kind. Speaking of which, you get to see Gwyneth Paltrow as the ultimate cock tease and whoa… The nudie scenes aren’t as graphic as those in “Y tu mamá también”, obviously, but they’re pretty damn erotic all the same! As the poor fool in love, Ethan Hawke does good in between Before Sun’s, and he and Paltrow are supported by such greats as De Niro as an escaped convict and Anne Bancroft as a kooky aristocrat. ]

2002
Y tu mamá también 91
[ review ]

 

2004
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 87
[ review ]

 

2006
Children of Men 92
[ review ]

2006
Parc Monceau 61
[ Cuarón’s contrinution to “Paris, je t’aime” is, what else, an uninterrupted five minute take of the ever scrumptious Ludivine Sagnier walking down a street with Nick Nolte, who’s mumbling in a mishmash of French and English. ]

2013
Gravity 90
[ review ]