Oscars: Mexico Abuzz Over 'Birdman' Victory

'Birdman' at the Oscars

Sunday's Academy Awards marked a historic night for Mexican talent Alejandro G. Inarritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.

The 87th Academy Awards will go down in history as the first time that a Mexican director has won an Oscar for best picture — and Mexico is loving it.

Of the top 10 Mexico Twitter topics Monday morning, nine were Oscar-related.

How big of a night was it for Mexican talent? In addition to the best picture award, Alejandro G. Inarritu's dark comedy Birdman also won best original screenplay and best director, making it the second straight year that a Mexican filmmaker has walked away with best director honors. (Last year, Inarritu's pal Alfonso Cuaron triumphed for the space thriller Gravity.)

Birdman also won best cinematography, which means back-to-back wins in the category for Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who shot Gravity as well.

Actor Gael Garcia Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle), who starred in Inarritu's feature debut Amores Perros, tweeted that he was overwhelmed with "tears of emotion" for his dear friend Inarritu.

Of all the buzz on social media, the most controversial trending topic was Sean Penn's green card joke. Before presenting the best picture Oscar to his friend, Inarritu, Penn asked the audience: "Who gave this son of a bitch a green card?"

Inarritu (who directed Penn in 21 Grams) later said he found the comment "hilarious." But not everyone appreciated the joke. In a Twitter post, Mexican actress Ana de la Reguera (Nacho Libre) said the following: "I have mixed feelings with Sean Penn. It's a joke but a heavy joke."

Another hot topic in Mexico is Inarritu's political acceptance speech in which he addressed U.S. immigration reform and social justice in Mexico.

"I pray that we can find and build a government that we deserve," said Inarritu in reference to Mexico. "And the ones that live in this country [the U.S.] who are part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country — I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect."

Inarritu, along with Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro, have been critical of the Mexican government for its inability to control ongoing drug-related violence. At a MoMa film benefit honoring Cuaron last year, the trio issued a statement in which they demanded answers for a massacre of 43 students in the southern state of Guerrero.

"We believe that these crimes are systemic and indicate a much greater evil: the blurred lines between organized crime and the high-ranking officials in the Mexican government," the filmmakers said.

On Sunday, Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto congratulated Inarritu and Lubezki for "well-deserved awards."

Even while Mexican talent is celebrating its biggest victory ever at the Oscars, people here say there's still some unfinished business. Of Mexico's famed trio of crossover directors, Inarritu and Cuaron have had their moments in the spotlight.

But the triple crown won't be complete until Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) wins the Oscar next year, said guests on an Excelsior TV post-Oscar show.

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