Roma: Netflix film showered with critics' awards as Oscars race heats up

Image source, Carlos Somonte/Netflix
Image caption,
Roma will be available to stream on Netflix from Friday

Roma, a Spanish-language black-and-white Netflix film, has been named the best film of the year in a string of US critics' awards, confirming its place as one of the leading Oscar contenders.

The family drama, set in Mexico in the 1970s, was written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who also made Gravity.

It has been named the best film of 2018 by critics' groups in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

Bookies still make A Star is Born the favourite for the best picture Oscar.

But Roma is not far behind in the betting odds and in the rankings compiled by award prediction site Gold Derby.

The film revolves around two women - a housekeeper played by Yalitza Aparicio, who wasn't a professional actress but has won wide acclaim; and her employer, a middle-class mother played by Marina de Tavira.

Inspired by Cuarón's own childhood, it has collected a galaxy of five-star reviews, being described as "an epic of tearjerking magnificence" by The Guardian and "a heartfelt masterpiece of mood and nostalgia" by The Wrap.

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Over the weekend, Roma was named best picture by the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society, the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, the Chicago Film Critics Association and at the Philadelphia Film Critics Awards.

It had already earned three Golden Globe nominations and was named best film by the New York Film Critics Circle last month.

This year's film awards season is now in full swing, and will climax with the Academy Awards on 24 February.

Roma could make history as the first Netflix film to be up for best picture when the Oscar nominations are announced on 22 January.

The film will be available to stream globally on Netflix more than a month before that - from Friday, 14 December - but Cuarón has said the ideal way to watch it is on a big screen.

In the UK, people are able to do so in Curzon cinemas and selected other independent cinemas.

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