In a year of #OscarsSoWhite, a Mexican film-maker quietly dominates the Academy Awards

2/26/2016 The Guardian

IñarrituThere’s been a lot of talk since the Oscar nominations were announced, in January, about the Academy Awards’ – and Hollywood’s – problems with diversity; and while the figures on ethnic minority and women’s participation in the film industry make for grim reading, there is at least one area where progress has been made. As Mexican film-maker Alejandro González Iñárritu waits to find out if he is the first person since Joseph L Mankiewicz to win the best director Oscar two years in a row, the Latino presence at Hollywood’s very top table is significant, in quality if not quantity.

As director of The Revenant, which leads the total number of nominations for Sunday’s ceremony with 12 (including best picture, best actor for Leonardo DiCaprio, and best supporting actor for Tom Hardy), Iñárritu is currently exerting an Oscar stranglehold for the second year in succession, after Birdman won four Academy Awards (including best picture and best director for Iñárritu) at the 2015 edition. Reinforcing the Latino ascendancy in Hollywood, another Mexican, Alfonso Cuarón, won the best director award in 2014, for Gravity; while cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who has collaborated with both Cuarón and Iñárritu, could well win his third Oscar in a row for The Revenant, having won for both Gravity and Birdman.

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