Roma earned 10 Oscar nominations, including nods for best foreign language film, best director, best screenplay and best cinematography, making Alfonso Cuaron the only director in history to be nominated by the film academy for both best director and best cinematography in the same year. (Alfonso Cuaron/Netflix via AP)
When Yalitza Aparicio arrived at the auditions for Roma, the young woman trained as a preschool teacher was just looking for something to do. She told director Alfonso Cuaron she had time to kill as she waited for the results of a teaching program she’d enrolled in. But as soon as Cuaron watched the Indigenous woman perform, he knew he’d found his actor.
Now Roma, the unlikeliest of Oscar nominees, is also one of the most successful. Tied with The Favourite for 10 nominations, the black-and-white Spanish-language film certainly struck a chord with the academy.
Produced by Netflix, some wondered if the association with the streaming service would hurt the film. But if anything, Roma shows how Netflix is maturing as a movie-making force.
This year Netflix’s productions scored 15 nominations across all categories, equal to the total amount it has received in previous years combined. This itself proves the mantle of Netflix in the movie-making business.
But in a sign of the continued wariness among cinema owners about Netflix’s power, two of the biggest chains in the US, AMC, and Regent, have refused to screen Roma during their annual showcases.
“This year, Academy members nominated a film that was never licensed to AMC to play in our theatres,” AMC said in a statement shortly after the nominations were announced.
The refusal by AMC and Regent would definitely increase Netflix’s popularity as it would be the only platform which would screen Roma. Let’s see how Roma fares next month?