Roma best picture Oscar nod finally grants Netflix its big wish

Yalitza Aparicio plays Cleo in Roma, Netflix’s film written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. 

Alfonso Cuarón

With Roma‘s nomination for a best picture Oscar, Netflix finally got one of its deepest wishes — big-time Academy Award validation. 

Roma, a black-and-white drama about a middle-class Mexican family and the domestic workers who care for its children, will go up against Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, A Star is Born and Vice when the Academy Awards are doled out Feb. 24. 

Last year, Amazon beat Netflix to become the first streaming service to be nominated for a best picture Oscar nod, for Manchester by the Sea. Though the bleak film won statues for best actor and best original screenplay, it didn’t cinch the best picture title — leaving the crown for first streamer to actually win a best picture Oscar unclaimed. 

Netflix is hoping Roma, which won the Golden Globe for best foreign language motion picture, will carry it to the throne. 

Netflix hasn’t been totally overlooked by the Oscars in the past. The streaming giant’s documentaries have netted the company a feature documentary nomination every year since 2014, and Netflix took home its first feature-film Oscar last year for Icarus, its documentary about doping among competitive cyclists. 

The company also won an Oscar for documentary short film in 2017 for The White Helmets, about volunteer rescue workers in bomb-ravaged Syria. 

This year, however, Roma is giving Netflix its best shot yet at potentially scoring the biggest prize of the night. Roma has been hailed at film festivals and by critics as director Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece. Cuarón has already been anointed as Oscar worthy, having won best director in 2014 for Gravity. And Netflix has been on breakneck promotional campaign to drum up award support for Roma. 

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