“Roma” took home three Academy Awards tonight — though not Best Picture, which went to “Green Book.”
Alfonso Cuarón did win an Oscar for directing the film. It was his second victory in the category, following his previous award for “Gravity.” And it marks the fifth time in six years that Best Director has gone to one of the “Three Amigos,” a trio of acclaimed Mexican directors that also includes Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Iñárritu.
“Roma” is based on Cuarón’s childhood in Mexico City, as told through the eyes of the family’s maid Cleo. It went went into the night with 10 nominations, tying “The Favourite” for the most nods. Ultimately, it won the awards for Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Film and Best Director.
“Being up here doesn’t get old,” Cuarón said as he went up to accept Best Director. He went on to thank the Academy for recognizing “a film centered around an indigenous woman — one of the 70 million domestic workers in the world without work rights, a character that had been historically relegated to the background in cinema.”
Netflix spent an estimated $25 to $30 million to campaign for “Roma” — a particularly impressive sum since the film cost $15 million to make. The company also dropped its previous insistence on simultaneously releasing films on streaming and in theaters. (The exclusive theatrical window of just a few weeks still wasn’t enough to win over the major theater chains.)
While “Roma” was the big streaming success story for the night, Netflix’s “Period. End of Sentence.” won for Best Documentary (Short Subject). The streamer’s “Ballad of Buster Scruggs” also received three nominations, though it didn’t win in any category.
Meanwhile, Hulu’s “Minding the Gap” was nominated for Best Documentary Feature, but lost to “Free Solo.”
Beyond the streaming news, “Black Panther” was the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture. Ultimately, it took home the awards for Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Original Score. Also on the superhero front: “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” won for Best Animated Feature.
And since I’ve written about “First Man” — hey, it won for Best Visual Effects!
The awards were given out at a ceremony without a host, for only the second time in Oscar history. Instead of a monologue, there was a montage highlighting all kinds of movies from the past year, and then Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph came out to make a few host-style jokes before presenting the award for Best Supporting Actress.
And how did I feel about the results? Well …
If Green Book wins Best Picture I’m going to set this television on fire
— Anthony Ha (@anthonyha) February 25, 2019
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