Staff Poll: Our Favorite Works by 'Gravity' Director Alfonso Cuarón

READ: 'Gravity' May Be Film's Most Thrilling-and Stressful-90 Minutes

With his new film Gravity hitting the theaters this weekend to much critical acclaim, we reflect on Director Alfonso Cuarón's greatest hits. Continued on next page. Y Tu Mamá También For me, the most memorable thing about this beautifully shot film is the ending, which is hard not to spoil by divulging details. Let's just say it crosses my mind every time I go to a beach. Like its title, Y Tu Mamá También is brazen and sexy, about two spoiled rich kids (launching both Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna into international heartthrobs) who somehow convince the older, sophisticated Luisa (Maribel Verdú) to take a road trip out of Mexico City's stifling summer environment to a secret spot by the sea. The fact that the beach doesn't exist quickly fades to the background as the privileged trio meander through the Mexican countryside and Luisa turns out to be the seductress, flipping the script on her horndog travel companions and initiating a steamy love triangle. Cuarón goes full-frontal, not only with the sex scenes, but with his frank assessment about women, class, poverty and corruption in Mexican society. In the end, the film is a bit like Luisa, stunning and thoughtful on the surface, but with a boundary-pushing wild streak underneath. Note: this is one of the worst trailers of all time, just watch the whole film.—Callie Enlow, Editor in Chief The Shock Doctrine It's chilling, it's informative and leaves you intrigued. Cuarón artfully delivers a short but sweet visual introduction into Klein's lengthy book that'll make you eager to read through all 600-plus pages.—Mary Tuma, Staff Writer Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Grittier, grimier and more gripping than its Chris Columbus-directed predecessors (2001’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and 2002’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban introduced surprising new cast members—including Gary Oldman as shape-shifting convict Sirius Black, Emma Thompson as half-blind soothsayer Sybill Trelawney and David Thewlis as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Remus Lupin—and marked a major turning point in the film series—one that both director Alfonso Cuarón and star Daniel Radcliffe remember fondly. In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Cuarón gushed about Radcliffe, saying “I am so full of admiration on how he's handling his career. ... I would love to do something with him again. I’m a big fan, man.” Speaking to the same interviewer, Radcliffe later responded, “Send my love to the amazing bastard. ... I would love to. He's such a fine director and I really want to see Gravity.”—Bryan Rindfuss, Associate Editor ENRIQUE LOPETEGUI, Music & Film Editor In the Mexican Trinity of great contemporary filmmakers, Alfonso Cuarón is my personal number one. If Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, Babel, Biutiful) is visceral and Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim) a child at heart with a penchant for big special effects and smart fantastic adventures, Cuarón is perhaps the most complete of them all. Long before he became a heavyweight with Y Tu Mamá También (2001), I became a fan after watching, by accident, his 1995 film loosely based on Shirley Temple’s The Little Princess (1939), in turn inspired by the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel. Cuarón’s A Little Princess knocked me out. I had been watching a horrible movie (don’t make me even mention its name), so I left the movie theater I was in and entered another one, the very next one, and as soon as I entered, I see this little girl (Liesel Matthews) saying something about “INDIA!” What followed was a beautiful, funny, moving film about love, attachment, loss, imagination, friendship and India itself, the real India, the spiritual one, the one full of magic, the one you can’t arrive at with merely a passport. Cuarón is first remembered by the commercial success of Y Tu Mama También, the critical acclaim of Children of Men and, now, by the great reviews (and hefty box office returns, possibly) of Gravity. But if you ask me, his best film is A Little Princess, hands down. Yes, Y Tu Mamá También is a fun film. But make no mistake and do yourself a favor: If you want to really know how great Cuarón is, watch Children of Men and Gravity, but also check A Little Princess as soon as you can. You’ll thank me for life. “Magic has to be believed. It’s the only way it’s real.”
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