Oscars 2014: Gravity's Alfonso Cuaron wins Best Director in night of triumph for British space epic
The run of great British wins at the Oscars continues
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Monday 03 March 2014
Gravity’s Alfonso Cuaron took home twin Oscars for Best Director and Best Editing at last night’s 86th Academy Awards, capping a winning evening for the production’s largely British technical team. The 52-year-old Mexican was the first Latin American director ever to win the top directing prize; his film went away with a total of seven Oscars, the largest haul of the night.
The space-bound drama, in which astronaut Ryan Stone (played by Sandra Bullock) finds herself stranded alone in orbit, was also awarded Oscars in the Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects categories, in recognition of its ground-breaking technical achievements. The movie was entirely filmed in Buckinghamshire, and its visual effects were created by Framestore, an effects firm in Soho, London. Gravity's British composer Steven Price also won the Academy Award for Best Score.
A long-time London resident, Cuaron wrote the screenplay for the sci-fi thriller with his son Jonas Cuaron, and spent almost five years bringing their vision to the screen. Accepting the directing gong, Cuaron said the film's prolonged production process had been, "A transformative experience, which is good because it took so long... For a lot of those people [who worked on Gravity] that transformation was wisdom, for me it was just the colour of my hair!"
Speaking backstage after his wins, Cuaron, who has made three films in the UK, said: "The amazing know-how, quality and sophistication of the British film industry made this happen." He added that the film's technical feats were all in the service of its lead actor's performance. "All of this was down to Sandra Bullock," he said. "Everything we did was honouring Sandra Bullock's performance."
Gravity has been a huge commercial as well as critical success, and has already taken around £420m at the box office worldwide. Cuaron was previously nominated for Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing for his 2007 film Children of Men, and for Best Original Screenplay for Y Tu Mama Tambien (2003), which he also directed.
A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend
A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 3 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women