MEXICO CITY -- What a winning night Mexico had on Sunday. The country's three representatives at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony all came home clutching a golden statuette, including one for Best Directing.
Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón was the big winner of the night: His movie, “Gravity,” took no fewer than seven Oscars, including the Best Editing and Best Director awards that will soon decorate his Mexico City home. Among the country's other five awards were Best Cinematography, which went to fellow Mexican -- and Cuarón’s longtime collaborator -- Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki.
Another score for the country was Lupita Nyong’o’s much-deserved Best Supporting Actress award. The 31-year-old actress, born in Mexico City to Kenyan parents, earned the award for her heart-wrenching performance in “12 Years a Slave,” which took home the Best Picture award.
From the minute the ceremony began, Mexico poured its heart into tweets of support. Actor Gael García Bernal, who worked with Cuarón on the much-praised indie film “Y tu mamá también,” sent a congratulatory tweet early on in the evening. “Thank you Chivo. Thank you Alfonso. Warm thoughts forever,” he tweeted around 9:30 p.m., when the ceremony had barely started.
As the night progressed and awards poured in for “Gravity,” the actor’s comments increased in emotion, reaching his final tweet -- which read, “I am crying of excitement. I love you, cabrón” -- at 11:41 p.m., right after Cuarón won the Best Directing award. It was the first time a Latin American filmmaker won that award.
García Bernal was not the only one closely watching the ceremony. The president of the nation himself took to the social network to congratulate his fellow Mexicans. “Congratulations to Lupita Nyong’o, Mexican by birth, for her interpretative strength that have made her an Oscar winner,” Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted immediately after the actress won her first Oscar.
The President again congratulated Lubezki on “the photographic language in ‘Gravity,’ as it is a great contribution for universal cinema.” He later added, “The Oscar for Best Director to Alfonso Cuarón is the result of his talent effort and vision. Extraordinary job!”
Even the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Agency showed its love, tweeting a picture of space in honor of “Gravity.”
The show of love for Mexico's winners by the country's media and critics continued early on Monday morning. “Alfonso Cuarón writes his name in the history of cinema,” a front-page Excelsior headline read. “’Gravity’ attracts the Oscar,” El Universal’s top headline said.
True to his style, Cuarón delivered a heartfelt bilingual acceptance speech, thanking stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the “smart people at Warner Brothers,” and his mother.
The director also had kind words for his fellow Mexican filmmakers: Cuarón thanked Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Amores Perros”) and Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”). The three of them are known as Los Tres Amigos, and according to Cuarón, they “have put Mexican cinema in the good shape it is today,” he told the A.P. in his red carpet interview.