In a landmark but inevitable feat, Netflix has its first best-picture Oscar nomination thanks to Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma.”
The nostalgic, black-and-white film was validated as a lead contender in the Oscars race when the nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning, tying with the period comedy “The Favourite” with 10 nominations apiece.
“Roma” picked up nods in the best picture, director, foreign-language film, original screenplay and cinematography categories; technical nominations for sound mixing, sound editing and production design; as well as a lead actress notice for newcomer Yalitza Aparicio and a supporting actress nod for Marina de Tavira.
Cuarón himself, who won two Oscars in 2014 for “Gravity,” is up for trophies as director, writer, cinematographer and co-producer of the film, but was left out of the film editing category.
Mexico’s official Oscar entry could also make history by being the first foreign-language film to go on to win best picture.
Netflix tested its Oscars-race endurance with last year’s gut-wrenching drama “Mudbound,” which earned four Academy Award nominations; however, it was edged out of the best-picture race, and did not go on to win in any category.
But “Roma,” Cuarón’s ode to his childhood caregiver in Mexico, has been dazzling audiences and critics since it debuted at the Venice Film Festival last August, where it picked up the Golden Lion award.
Since then, the film began streaming in mid-December and broke new ground for Netflix with an exclusive theatrical release. It also garnered two Golden Globe Awards, won best picture from the New York and Los Angeles critics groups and collected a glut of guild nominations.
With Netflix’s willingness to spend on prestige content and awards campaigns, wide-ranging promotional tactics, as well as chief content officer Ted Sarandos’ grit to win, the streaming giant has emerged as a force disrupting Hollywood’s studio-dominated landscape.
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