Before he became the first Mexican filmmaker to win the Academy Award for Best Director, Alfonso Cuarón rose to prominence during the Nuevo Cine Mexicano movement in the 1990s. One of the movement’s “Three Amigos” (the other two being Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro), Cuarón has since carved a place for himself as one of Hollywood’s most thoughtful and inventive directors. Years later, one can still see the ways in which his heritage and portrayal of the disenfranchised affect his style and process. His use of long takes, for example, in everything from Y Tu Mamá También and Children of Men to Great Expectations and Gravity, forces viewers to remain intimately tied to his characters and their experiences. Whether lingering on Julio (Gael García Bernal) at the end if Y Tu Mamá También or following Finn (Ethan Hawke) rise from rags to riches in Great Expectations, Cuarón always finds a way to elevate our shared experience and to truly depict what it’s like to be in the shoes of his characters.

Like the "Found in Translation" series? Check out our first installment on Alejandro González Iñárritu here.