He began his career working in television as Mexico, both as a technician and as a director.
His brothers Carlos and Alfredo are also film directors. He was married to his second wife Annalisa Bugliani from 2001 to 2008. He has three children: Jonas, Tess and Olmo.
He became the first Latin American filmmaker to win the Oscar for Best Director, followed by his friends Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro.