Netflix quietly qualified “Roma” for submission as Mexico’s Oscar entry by opening the film August 24 for a one-week theatrical run in Mexico City, in time for the August 26 eligibility deadline. It was hard to imagine that Mexico would not submit such a strong contender from Best Director Oscar-winner Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”).
Of course, Netflix’s beefed-up awards machine is pushing Venice Golden Lion winner “Roma,” which has played Venice, Telluride, and Toronto festivals on the way to its NYFF Centerpiece gala, and will play more regional festivals before its eventual December 14 day-and-date streaming and theatrical release in theaters. Netflix is negotiating for theaters with sophisticated sound, including some four-walled Dolby Atmos situations.
The widely hailed autobiographical black-and-white digital tour-de-force looks to be the first foreign-language entry since Michael Haneke’s “Amour” to also be a major contender for Best Picture, Director, Writer, Actress (non-pro Yalitza Aparicio) and in this case, many technical categories as well.
The Oscar it’s most likely to win, besides foreign-language, is Best Director, which would bring Cuaron his second after “Gravity.”