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“ROMA”
Gabriela Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón


Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Producers: Alfonso Cuarón, Gabriela Rodríguez, and Nicolas Celis
Writers: Alfonso Cuarón
Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón
Editors: Alfonso Cuarón and Adam Gough
Composer: Steven Price
Distributor: Netflix
Release Date: November 21, 2018
Budget: $15 million
Run-time: 135 minutes



FILM SYNOPSIS: In Mexico City in the early 1970s, Cleo is a maid in the household of a middle-class doctor. She takes on increasing responsibility caring for the family’s four children during a time of personal and political upheaval.


For a Foreign Language Feature to even get a Best Picture nomination, let alone be the odds-on favorite in the category is actually a pretty phenomenal thing and I would love to see it come to fruition. With a master crafts man like Alfonso Cuarón behind the film, elevating to huge levels, and breaking the barrier that has been placed on Netflix-produced films, this feels like a win that would cap off an amazing awards season. Sure, “Black Panther” could get the votes because of its popularity (hell, they almost made an entire category just so they could award it) and “The Favourite,” “Green Book,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” have been winning all over the place in some pretty high profile areas, but to me, “Roma” is the strongest contender and what an amazing thing that is. Could “A Star Is Born” possibly sneak in for a last minute pity win? Let me just say I would not be surprised in the very slightest because as with any year, you have to expect the unexpected.


PREVIOUS NOMINATIONS

GABRIELA RODRÍGUEZ
YEAR FILM AWARD CATEGORY

NONE


ALFONSO CUARÓN
YEAR FILM AWARD CATEGORY
2002 (75th) “Y Tu Mamá También” Nominated Best Original Screenplay
2006 (79th) “Children Of Men” Nominated Best Film Editing
Nominated Best Adapted Screenplay
2013 (86th) “Gravity” Nominated Best Picture
Won Best Directiing
Won Best Film Editing



ALFONSO CUARÓN


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Unless you’re going to give this one to Spike Lee, who has never won before and would be making history as the first African American director to pull off a win, the next logical choice has to be Alfonso Cuarón. Not only did he make a film that was a black-and-white, foreign language feature produced and released by Netflix, and got it to a place where it’s now nominated for ten Academy Awards, the man has been winning awards all season.




YALITZA APARICIO


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CHARACTER SYNOPSIS: As Cleo, Yalitza Aparicio plays a maid of Mixteco heritage working for a doctor’s family in Mexico City during the early 1970s.


One day Yalitza Aparicio was studying to become a teacher, the next day she’s hearing her name as a nominee for an Academy Award. That’s the kind of thing that dreams are made of and if the Academy decided to make a positive example of her and give her the win, not a single person would be mad about that. But in the game of odds, it seems like Glenn Close or Olivia Colman coming in as the final front-runners. You cannot count out the love and undying support for Lady Gaga either. But what a nice surprise to have Yalitza in the same category as these women.


PREVIOUS NOMINATIONS

YALITZA APARICIO
YEAR FILM AWARD CATEGORY

NONE




MARINA DE TAVIRA


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CHARACTER SYNOPSIS: Marina de Tavira plays Sra. Sofia, the mother of four rambunctious children who struggles to maintain a semblance of normalcy as her marriage falters.


Speaking of surprises, one could have maybe hazarded a guess that Yalitza would grab a nomination, but not a single person could have predicted Marina de Tavira also garnering one for her Supporting role in “Roma” and shows just how popular this film actually was with the Academy. Does she have a chance of winning? Well, if the Academy was dead-set on pushing “Roma” over they could award her, but all signs point toward Regina King or Rachel Weisz taking home the prize.


PREVIOUS NOMINATIONS

MARINA DE TAVIRA
YEAR FILM AWARD CATEGORY

NONE




ALFONSO CUARÓN


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The Cinematography of “Roma” is the real star of the film. Alfonso Cuarón has a way of turning what could be the mundane shot into one of the most sweeping, epic shots you’ve ever seen. Sometimes with black-and-white films, you wonder why the director made that decision, but with “Roma,” you have the feeling that Alfonso Cuarón knew exactly what he was doing. Personally, no other film touches the cinematography of “Roma,” but if you’re going to throw another name in the hat, it might be Robbie Ryan for his unique point-of-view in “The Favourite.”




MEXICO; ALFONSO CUARÓN


Next to “Shallow” being a lock for winning Best Original Song, “Roma” winning Best Foreign Language feature feels like the closest to a sure thing. “Roma” absolutely dominated throughout the entire awards season. And to get a Best Picture nomination out of that is telling as to where the film ranks overall. But if “Roma” is going to win absolutely anything out of its 10 nominations, this would be its strongest chance.


PREVIOUS NOMINATIONS

MEXICO
YEAR FILM AWARD CATEGORY
1960 (33rd) “Macario” Nominated Best Foreign Language Film
1961 (34th) “The Important Man” Nominated Best Foreign Language Film
1962 (35th) “Tlayucan” Nominated Best Foreign Language Film
1975 (48th) “Letters from Marusia” Nominated Best Foreign Language Film
2000 (73rd) “Amores Perros” Nominated Best Foreign Language Film
2002 (75th) “El Crimen del Padre Amaro” Nominated Best Foreign Language Film
2006 (79th) “Pan’s Labyrinth” Nominated Best Foreign Language Film
2010 (83rd) “Biutiful” Nominated Best Foreign Language Film



EUGENIO CABALLERO
(Production Design)
BÁRBARA ENRÍQUEZ
(Set Decoration)


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The house in “Roma” is one of the most iconic parts of the entire film and that’s confirmed by this nomination for Best Production Design. The driveway alone, plays a big part in several scenes at the house, including the dog shit filled ground and the tight squeeze for the family car. The entire house itself feels completely lived in, with things on the walls in the kids room, the bookcases throughout the house and their absence being felt at the end of the film. Everything feels authentic to the time. However, compared to the scale of the Production Design in “Black Panther” and “The Favourite,” “Roma” does not stand a chance.


PREVIOUS NOMINATIONS

EUGENIO CABALLERO
YEAR FILM AWARD CATEGORY
2006 (79th) “Pan’s Labyrinth” Won Best Art Direction

BÁRBARA ENRÍQUEZ
YEAR FILM AWARD CATEGORY

NONE




SERGIO DÍAZ and SKIP LIEVSAY


Of the films in the Sound Editing category, “Roma” feels at the bottom of the pack. With music films like “Bohemian Rhapsody”having a definitive place in this category. And a big blockbuster like “Black Panther” or thrilling uses of sound in “First Man” and “A Quiet Place,” the sound editing of “Roma” seems minuscule in comparison.


PREVIOUS NOMINATIONS

SERGIO DÍAZ
YEAR FILM AWARD CATEGORY

NONE


ALFONSO CUARÓN
YEAR FILM AWARD CATEGORY
2007 (80th) “No Country For Old Men” Nominated Best Sound Editing
Nominated Best Sound Mixing
2010 (83rd) “True Grit” Nominated Best Sound Editing
Nominated Best Sound Mixing
2013 (86th) “Gravity” Won Best Sound Mixing
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Nominated Best Sound Mixing



SKIP LIEVSAY, CRAIG HENIGHAN, and JOSÉ ANTONIO GARCÍA


The same goes for Sound Mixing, which adds “A Star Is Born,” another music film, to the mix. “Roma” was not known for its sound.


PREVIOUS NOMINATIONS

CRAIG HENIGHAN
YEAR FILM AWARD CATEGORY

NONE


JOSÉ ANTONIO GARCÍA
YEAR FILM AWARD CATEGORY
2012 (85th) “Argo” Nominated Best Sound Mixing



ALFONSO CUARÓN


As personal as “Roma” was to director/writer Alfonso Cuarón, it feels right to give him the nomination. But as far as the film’s script compares to that of its fellow nominees, it doesn’t compare. “The Favourite” and “First Reformed” are such unique screenplays, that feels like the element of this category that should be rewards. However, working in the favor of “Roma” is that the writing awards are sometimes heavily linked to the Best Picture winner, so if you’re predicting “Roma” to take Best Picture, it would not be completely out of the realm of possibility that “Roma” also takes this category. But my pick is “The Favourite,” as I do not feel the screenplay for “Roma” was not one of the best of the year.




NETFLIX

VIEWED: Tuesday, February 5, 2019

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