Mexico was well represented among the winners at the Oscars last night when The Revenant, which went in with 12 nominations, earned three awards.
Director Alejandro González Iñárritu won Best Director for the second year in a row, marking three consecutive years in which the award has gone to a Mexican filmmaker. Alfonso Cuarón won for Gravity in 2014.
The Revenant also scored the Best Actor award for Leonardo di Caprio and Best Cinematography for Mexico’s Emmanuel Lubezki, who won for the third straight year. He picked up the Oscar last year for Birdman, for which González Iñárritu won best director, and for Gravity the year before.
González Iñárritu became just the third filmmaker to win back-to-back Academy Awards for his story about a 19th-century frontiersman and trapper.
“I couldn’t be more happy,” he said last night after his win.
“Storytelling is a way for us to confront emotions and possibilities and feel beautiful and horrible emotions. It’s a way to control life, to have an oxygen capsule for life without suffering for real.”
A former DJ, the filmmaker won renown for Amores Perros in 2000. All six of the films he has made have earned an Oscar nomination.
González Iñárritu, Cuarón and fellow filmmaker Guillermo del Toro have been dubbed “The Three Amigos” by Hollywood for heading a new generation of Mexican filmmakers who have been winning some prestigious prizes.
Last year, González Iñárritu used his Oscar win to urge Mexicans to “find and build the government that we deserve, and later criticized injustice, corruption and impunity for having reached “intolerable levels.”
Last night, his focus was diversity, a controversial issue this year for the overwhelming number of white nominees. He said there was an opportunity for “our generation to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and, you know, this way of thinking and make sure for once and forever that the color of skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair.”
The Revenant took five years of research and travel to make, along with shooting under adverse conditions.
The 52-year-old director said last month that after the grueling work involved in making the film he was ready to “crawl into a cave to hibernate like a bear” for six months. “I cannot imagine that I will be making another movie any time soon,” he said.
The night was a special one for di Caprio as well, winning Best Actor for the first time despite four previous nominations.
The Best Film award went to Spotlight while Mad Max: Fury Road earned the most awards.