“Roma” heads to the Oscars on Feb. 24 poised to make history as the first foreign language film that could take home the Best Picture award.
It appears to be a shoo-in to win the Motion Picture Academy’s Best Foreign Language Film Award, having consistently won that award at many popular films, critics’ and guild associations including the Golden Globes. This week it will compete for Best Picture at the BAFTAs, the equivalent of the British Academy Awards.
“Roma” earned 10 Academy Award nominations as did “The Favourite,” the 18th-century costume farce, also up for Best Picture. Both films face “BlacKkKlansman,” “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” “Green Book,” “A Star Is Born” and “Vice” for the top award. You can wager on Oscars’ top categories at any number of SBR’s top betting sites.
“Roma” Alfonso Cuaron’s masterpiece film of life in Mexico City in the ‘70s scored him individual nominations for writer, director, cinematographer and producer, a feat that hasn’t happened since Joel and Ethan Coen did it in 2007 for “No Country for Old Men.” He shares that record with Warren Beatty for “Heaven Can Wait” and “Reds” and Alan Menken for “Beauty and the Beast.”
It also is competing in these categories: Best Actress (Yalitza Aparicio), Best Supporting Actress (Marina de Tavira), Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and the aforementioned Best Foreign Language Film.
In another first, “Roma” earned a Best Picture nomination for content-creator and streaming service Netflix. Since 2014, Netflix has received multiple Oscar nominations, seven for documentaries, three for short-subject documentaries and four 2017’s “Mudbound,” but none for Best Picture.
Cuaron who has won two previous Oscars, directing and film editing for 2014’s “Gravity,” starring Sandra Bullock as an astronaut trying to navigate herself home when an accident leaves her stranded in space. He was the first Hispanic and Mexican to win the Best Director award.
On Feb. 2, he took another step toward possibly winning another Best Director Oscar when he received the top honor from the Directors Guild of America, many times a predictor for the Academy Awards. His competition was Bradley Cooper (“A Star is Born”), Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”), and Adam McKay (“Vice”).
“Roma” is an intensely personal film for Cuaron, inspired by his childhood memories. His goal was to honor Liboria “Libo” Rodriguez, a domestic worker who raised him, tell his family’s history through her eyes. He changed the names in the movie which is essentially a love letter to the women who raised him during his formative years.
Like many domestic workers, these women taken on expanded roles in the family, basically becoming quasi-parents to the children. In the black and white film,” Cuaron cinematically painting a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic conflict and social hierarchy against the backdrop of ‘70s political turmoil in Mexico City.
Rodriguez, talking through a translator with Variety, said Cuaron gathered information about his childhood through her, now knowing what it was for. “Help me remember and understand,’ he asked her. And then he asked her about what she wore. “I never imagined everything I am living right now,” she told Variety. “That a film would be based on me.”
Though “Roma” is the frontrunner, it certainly isn’t a done deal for an Academy Awards victory. With each awards show, the Oscar outlook becomes cloudier with a mix of best film winners. “Black Panther,” the first superhero movie to be nominated as Best Picture, won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble in Film. “Green Book,” the dramedy about a Bronx bouncer I (Viggo Mortensen) hired to drive world-class black pianist during a concert tour of the 1960’s South. “BlackKkKlansman,” from first-time directing nominee Spike Lee, also is seen to be as a top contender.
The Oscars will be awarded on February 24. The show airs at 8 p.m. (EST) February 24 on ABC.