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The ‘Unexpected Virtue’ of Being Mexican

THE OSCARS(r) - THEATRE - The 87th Oscars, held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre(r) at Hollywood & Highland Center(r), are televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m., ET/4 p.m., PT. (ABC/Craig Sjodin) ALEJANDRO G. INARRITU

Mexicano Alejandro González Iñárritu was awarded with the Oscar for Best Director for the movie Birdman during the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015. Image by Craig Sjodin, taken from ABC's Flickr account under Creative Commons license.

For the second time in a row, a Mexican accepts an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Award, better known as an Oscar, for Best Director. This year, Alejandro González Iñárritu took the same gong for Birdman, (also known as The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) while in 2014 it was his fellow countryman and friend Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity.

González Iñárritu (aka ‘El Negro’, Black) also received an award this time round as part of the team who wrote the script for Birdman, which was also acknowledged as Best Picture of the year.

Sports journalist Alejandro Gómez wrote of the duo:

Mexico ties up as a two-time champion of DIRECTORS in Hollywood. Huge, Alejandro!!!!

In an industry that has been accused of discrimination against minorities, the fact that a Mexican won did not go unnoticed.

The Sopitas blog shared the closing statements of González Iñárritu that wrapped up the event, and touched on his fellow countrymen:

Quiero dedicarle este premio a mis compatriotas mexicanos, los que viven en México. Rezo porque podamos encontrar y construir el gobierno que merecemos.

Y los (mexicanos) que viven en este país, que son parte de la más reciente generación de inmigrantes, rezo porque puedan ser tratados con la misma dignidad y respeto de los que vinieron antes y (construyeron) esta increíble nación de inmigrantes.

I want to dedicate this award to my fellow Mexican countrymen, those living in Mexico. I pray we might find and build the government we deserve.

And those [Mexicans] who live in this country, that belong to the most recent generation of immigrants, I pray you can be treated with the same dignity and respect as the ones who came before and [built] this amazing nation of immigrants.

Raúl Trejo Delarbre praised González Iñárritu's closing speech:

Precise political speech by González Iñárritu. May Mexicans find the government we deserve. In the United States, acknowledgement for migrants.

And for the second time in a row, another Mexicano Emmanel Lubezki (aka ‘El Chivo’, the Goat) received the statuette for Best Cinematography for Birdman. Last year, he won an award in the same category for Gravity.

El Zappo, on the blog Homozapping, shared the moment ‘El Chivo’ won the award:

Asimismo, Emmanuel Lubezki obtuvo el galardón a la mejor fotografía por su trabajo en dicho filme. Este es el segundo Óscar para Lubezki, quien apenas en 2014 se alzó con la estatuilla por fotografía en la cinta Gravity, dirigida por Alfonso Cuarón.

Al escuchar su nombre el artista mexicano abrazó a Alejandro González Iñárritu, director de Birdman, en el pasillo y luego lo elogió al recibir su estatuilla de manos de Jessica Chastain. “Esto es extraordinario”, dijo Lubezki, apodado Chivo. “Quiero compartir especialmente este premio con mi amigo Alejandro González Iñárritu, por su curiosidad, su pasión y su amistad”.

Likewise, Emmanuel Lubezki was awarded with Best Cinematography for his work on that movie. This is the second Óscar for Lubezki, who in 2014 raised the statuette for the cinematography of the film Gravity, directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

When he heard his name, the Mexican artist hugged Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of Birdman, on the aisle and then he praised him as he received his award from Jessica Chastain. “This is extraordinary,” Lubezki said, dubbed Chivo. “I want to share especially this award with my friend Alejandro González Iñárritu, for his curiosity, his passion and his friendship.”

Lubezki had been nominated before for his work in films such as Children of Men (2006) and The Tree of Life (2011). ‘El Negro’ Iñárritu had also been nominated for his feature film Babel (2006). Alongside Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro they are known as the ‘tres amigos‘ and are currently considered the best-known Mexican directors in the world.

Mexican talent is on the rise in Hollywood, where names such as Rodrigo Prieto, director of cinematography for Argos and production designer Eugenio Caballero, an Academy Award winner for The Labyrinth of the Faun (directed by del Toro), are two other well-renowned professionals.

The prominence of Mexican filmmakers at the 87th Academy Awards sparked many reactions on Twitter. 

Adina Chelminsky took the moment to note that Mexican talent often has to go abroad to realise itself:

Mexico: a country of talents that in Mexico don't have the support to stand out.

And as always in Mexico, satire is never far away. One user, Mourtinho shared the following image in a swipe at ‘executive power in México':

Birdman LOL!

Radio anchorman Martín Hernández is another Mexican who was nominated this year for his work on Birdman, but wasn't awarded the statuette in the category Best Sound Editing.

DianaLucía Contreras expressed the acknowledgement received by non-awarded Martín Hernández:

Although Martín Hernández wasn't awarded the Oscar, he was awarded the recognition of those keen on film. Congratulations!

Perhaps this year's Oscars will help awaken international curiosity in Mexico's domestic movie industry, which while far away from the blockbuster budgets of Hollywood, certainly retains ‘unexpected virtues.’

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