By Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media, Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Mexican Director Alejando Gonzalez Iñárritu won three Oscars Sunday Night. One for writing, Best Screenplay a second for Best Achievement by a Director and a third Oscar for Best Picture for “Birdman” (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) starring Michael Keaton.
In announcing the winner, presenter Sean Penn, quipped “Who gave this son of a bitch his green card” drawing laughter from some but stunning most. Gonzalez had also just received the Oscar for Best Director.
In his acceptance speech and in response to Penn’s comment, Gonzalez said, “Maybe this country will implement some immigration controls for the Oscars, a Mexican winning back to back Oscars is unheard of. He also went on to say that he hopes that the current wave of Mexican immigrants will be treated with the same respect and dignity as the many immigrants who have come before them that have helped build the United States into the great country it is today.
Gonzalez, born in Mexico City in 1963 and has won numerous awards for his film making in everything from commercials to short films to feature films.
His five feature films – Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Babel(2006), Biutiful (2010) and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) – have gained critical acclaim worldwide.
“Birdman” has not received near the attention of the other films nominated for Best Picture including Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper”, Oprah Winfrey’s “Selma”. “Boyhood” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel were considered the favorites to win for Best Picture.
At the box office Birdman has grossed $35 million in the U.S. compared to the $300 million American Sniper has brought in.
The movie tells the story of an actor, best known to the public as Birdman, the superhero he once played in a series of films, Riggan Thomson hopes to reestablish himself as a serious actor by mounting his own dramatic production on Broadway. With his self-doubt hindering the project, Thomson also finds himself threatened by the presence of a high-profile, egotistical movie star in his cast.