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'Roma' Ties 'Crouching Tiger' For Most Foreign Film Oscars Nominations At 10

Alfonso Cuarón's semi-autobiographical film is Netflix's first Best Picture nominee.

“Roma,” the moving portrait of a fractured middle-class Mexican family loosely based on director Alfonso Cuarón’s youth, made history with the Oscars nominations announced Tuesday.

The black-and-white Spanish-language film tied “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” for the most nominations among foreign films with 10, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“Roma” was nominated for Best Picture and Best Foreign Film, in addition to Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography for the 57-year-old Cuarón, who rooted the film in the Mexico City of his youth in the 1970s.

A nomination for Best Actress also found Yalitza Aparicio, who plays the indigenous housekeeper at the heart of the Netflix movie. She is just the second Mexican actress ever nominated in that category. Marina de Tavira also earned a nod for Best Supporting Actress.

Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Production Design rounded out the nominations for “Roma.”

"Roma" is also the first Netflix film to be nominated for best picture.
"Roma" is also the first Netflix film to be nominated for best picture.

“Good morning, beautiful world,” Netflix Film tweeted, noting “Roma’s” double-digit nominations.

“Roma” is Netflix’s first Best Picture nominee and the first for any streaming platform, CNN noted.

According to Variety, Cuarón also tied an Academy Awards record held by Warren Beatty, Alan Menken, and Joel and Ethan Coen with four individual Oscar nominations ― producer (for Best Picture), director, writer and cinematographer.

In securing 10 nominations in 2001, Ang Lee’s martial arts epic “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” went on to win for Best Foreign Film, Best Cinematography, Best Score and Best Production Design.

At the time it became the highest-grossing foreign film in the United States.

Determining viewership for “Roma” is a far trickier proposition because of its presence on a streaming platform. The movie did open in limited U.S. theaters to support its launch on Netflix, and its heavy presence in the awards nomination mix is bound to stir more controversy over how Oscar contenders should be released.

“My question to you is, how many theaters did you think that a Mexican film in black and white, in Spanish and Mixteco, that is a drama without stars — how big did you think it would be as a conventional theatrical release?” Cuarón, who won a best director Oscar for “Gravity,” said recently at the Golden Globes, per NBC. “I just hope the discussion between Netflix and platforms in general should be over. I think those guys, platforms and theatrical, should go together. ... They both together can elevate cinema, and more important, they can create a diversity in cinema.”

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