Alfonso Cuarón's Roma earns Netflix its first Oscar Best Picture contender
On Feb. 24, winners will be crowned at the 91st Academy Awards. But before the red carpet is rolled out and envelopes are opened, Entertainment Weekly has inside intel on the 2019 nominees. Keep checking back at EW.com this week for spotlights on contenders in all the major categories.
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Starring: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira
Total nominations: 10
With its leading 10 Oscar nominations on Tuesday, Alfonso Cuarón’s sweeping drama Roma just earned Netflix its first Oscar nomination in the Best Picture race.
Netflix has previously won Oscars in the documentary feature and documentary short categories. If Roma wins, it’ll be the first Oscar Best Picture accolade for a streaming platform (Amazon had previously become the first streaming platform to score a Best Picture nod in 2017 with Manchester by the Sea).
In a year where superheroes, musical greats, political puppet-masters, Queen, and queens are subjects of critically acclaimed films, a tale of a working-class maid might get overlooked. And yet, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which pays tribute to the director’s childhood nanny, stands out for exquisitely elevating the life of a woman often invisible in society (and certainly on the big screen). “The process forced me to see this person that was, for me, this nurturing figure. It forced me to recognize her as a woman, but also as a woman that has a different background in terms of social class,” Cuarón previously told EW.
Newcomer Yalitza Aparicio, who never acted before playing Roma’s leading lady, captures the humble, hard-working Cleo enduring a rollercoaster year in Mexico City in 1971. Her performance earned her a spot in the Oscars’ Best Actress race, alongside Glenn Close, Melissa McCarthy, Olivia Colman, and Lady Gaga.