'Gravity' director's Oscar nomination puts identity of Mexican cinema to test

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2013 file photo, Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron poses for photographers during a press conference promoting his film "Gravity" in Mexico City. Despite feeble cries of “Viva Mexico!” by some politicians and celebrities for the best-director nomination of Cuaron, many here see “Gravity” as a non-Mexican movie made by a man swallowed by Hollywood long ago - not as a product of Mexico’s own proud but struggling film industry. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

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Even Cuaron himself wrote in Reforma that Mexicans should praise countrymen who deal with domestic themes, such as Amat Escalante, whose film "Heli" was submitted — but not nominated — for Best Foreign Film. It is a portrait of a family shaken by drug violence.

But Cuaron doesn't hide his roots. A native of Mexico City, he mocks himself for his thick accent, joking that his "Gravity" star, Sandra Bullock, thought he wanted to give her "herpes" when he said "ear piece."

When he won the Golden Globe for best director and exclaimed, "Ay, guey!" — Mexican slang that loosely translates as: "Oh, brother!" The phrase was the headline in Mexico the next day.

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Adriana Gomez Licon is on Twitter http://twitter.com/agomezlicon

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