With the majority of critics releasing their “best films of 2018” lists this month, there is one piece of work which stands out among the rest.
Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma has topped many end of the year highlights, with publications such as Sight and Sound, Variety, Vulture, Vanity Fair, TIME Magazine and Rolling Stone heralding it as the very best film of the last twelve months. Nominations were recently announced for the upcoming London Film Critics’ Circle awards - which takes place 20 January - and it seems that the critically adored film has received an impressive five nominations. The categories which Roma will be competing within are listed below:
-Film of the Year
-Foreign-Language Film of the Year
-Director of the Year (Alfonso Cuarón)
-Screenwriter of the Year (Alfonso Cuarón)
-Actress of the Year (Yalitza Aparicio)
Such recognition is flattering, as there was initially doubt regarding the film’s eligibility for awards success. Although the times are indeed changing, some were sceptical of the film because it was funded and distributed by streaming giants Netflix, and as a result only received very limited theatrical release. Fortunately, the film became a festival sensation, and all reservations were abandoned when it won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival - the festival’s highest honour. Critics and audiences were praising the film incessantly, and all of this discussion has resulted in Roma becoming the biggest critical success of the year.
Alfonso Cuarón, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina De Tavira attend the Netflix 'Roma' Premiere at the Egyptian Theatre on December 10, 2018 in Hollywood, California..
The film is a semi-autobiographical account of Cuarón’s childhood in 1970’s Mexico City, told largely from the perspective of Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), one of the maid’s to his middle-class family. For a first-time performer, her performance remains a miracle. She possesses such beauty and absolutely deserves the nomination; sadly, she is up against such tough competitors, ranging from Toni Collette to Olivia Colman. However, the film is in with such a strong chance of earning the accolade for foreign-language film. Despite being nominated alongside Hirokazu Koreeda’s Shoplifters and Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman, it will come as a huge surprise if Roma doesn’t take home the honour.
Cuarón is also in with a strong chance of winning the Director of the Year award, as the film is just so exquisitely made. It’s a likely possibility, but the big question remains: can Roma win Film of the Year? At the moment, it appears to be a close race between Cuarón’s film and Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite. Making the decision of which one to back is strenuous to say the least, but if one were to truly predict the outcome then Roma has a slight edge above the 18th Century England comedy-drama. Both will have many devotees backing them on the night, but it does look like Roma will have achieve memorable success.
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