When “Roma” first played at festivals this past Labor Day, the word went out: it’s going to win the Oscar.
Really? “Roma” is a foreign language movie, from Mexico, spoken in Spanish, and shot in muted black and white. It has no stars of any kind, except director Alfonso Cuaron.
And yet, today “Roma” picked up its first Best Picture award from the NY Film Critics Circle. More will be coming. The mantra, Roma is the winner, has been repeated more often than “Impeach Trump.”
Part of the “Roma” phenomenon is that PR whiz Lisa Taback, trained at Harvey Weinstein’s heel, has turned the Netflix PR department into Hannibal’s army. Netflix bought Taback’s independent PR agency and brought everyone in. They weren’t going to take ‘no’ this year.
If Netflix, Taback, and Cuaron win, they will have beaten powerhouses Warner Bros– with “A Star is Born”–and Universal with “Green Book” and “First Man.” Ted Sarandos is not kidding around. “Roma” could actually win Best Picture and Best Foreign Film, or at least be nominated as such. Only Harvey Weinstein pulled that off in the past– for “Life is Beautiful.” He also got “Il Postino” nominated for Best Picture.
Meantime, “Roma” pulls out all the stops. Critics just received a massively heavy book about the film published by Assouline. I am expecting paella any day now!