Will Alfonso Cuarón's 'Roma' Be Netflix's Ticket To The Oscars?!

Written by D.J. Rivera. Published: September 10 2018


We are a few months away from award season and already the contenders are beginning to make their presence known. One of the films that truly stands out this year could give Netflix its first legitimate shot at the highly coveted Best Picture category at the Oscars. Famed filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón is taking the festival circuit by storm with his latest film, titled Roma, which is backed by the streaming giant.


Last time we saw Cuarón, he was amazing audiences all over the world with his 2013 hit Gravity starring Sandra Bullock. The film went on to win three Academy Awards for Visual Effects, Score, and Best Director while also receiving a nomination for Best Picture. So Cuarón is definitely someone who is used to this kind of thing, and his latest is also his most personal film to date.


Cuarón is an expert at walking the fine line between art-house picture and big studio blockbuster. And, from the looks of how Roma is already performing, he has not lost his signature touch. The film premiered at the Venice film Festival where it received 8 nominations and walked away with the coveted Golden Lion Award for Best Film. The film has also received considerable buzz at both Telluride and the Toronto International Film Restival. It looks to continue its festival run with a screening in October at the New York Film Festival. All this seems to indicate that Roma will be making all the right stops on its way to the Academy Awards.




This film is a semi-biographical picture somewhat based on the life of Cuarón himself and provides a solid take on his upbringing in Mexico, which is why this project hits so close to home for the infamous Mexican filmmaker. It follows the life of a middle class family and their live-in housekeeper over the course of a year. Also, the story is situated at a pivotal political moment in Mexico’s history, which includes a riveting depiction of the Corpus Christi massacre of student demonstrators in 1971. But what really set the film apart is Cuarón’s approach to putting it all together. The director cast a mixture of actors and non-actors while he withheld screenplays, allowing his performers to discover their scenarios day-by-day while filming in continuity.


The dedication Cuarón took with this film is nothing short of game-changing, and it doesn’t just stop with the cast. Almost all of the scenes came from his memory, and his production team recreated many of the settings in and around Mexico City’s Colonia Roma neighborhood, including Cuarón’s family home, which was fit with most of the original furniture. The passion, realism, and tender story Cuarón brings to the table in this picture will definitely have little issue resonating with audiences, critics, and, more then likely, the voters of the Academy Awards.


Roma marks the first collaboration the filmmaker has made with Netflix. This film is a huge deal for the streaming giant, as they have their sights on achieving their first Best Picture nomination. This year marked the first year that Netflix walked away with more Primetime Emmy Nominations than HBO, which hasn’t happened in 18 years. Taking down the premium cable powerhouse is a huge accomplishment in itself, but the bigger deal would be Netflix continuing this run of success with Roma securing the streaming service its first Best Picture Oscar bid to date.


Roma will be in theaters and available on Netflix December 14, 2018.


(Image via Netflix)


- D.J. Rivera, YH Contributing Writer