The Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences has just announced that Alfonso Cuarón's Roma will be Mexico's candidate for the Oscars in the foreign-language category, giving the country a good possibility of securing its first win after eight failed nominations.
Fresh after its historic win at the Venice Film Festival for best film and its North American premiere at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, Roma will be screening in a few weeks as center piece of the New York Film Festival.
Cuarón’s autobiographically inspired black and white film set in Mexico City in the early seventies, marks the cinematic return of the filmmaker to his homeland after his 2001 international hit Y Tu Mamá También. Starring Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira, Roma follows a middle-class family held together by Cleo, the domestic worker. She and Sofía, the family’s matriarch wrestle with changes in the family home while Mexico braces for a confrontation between the government-backed militia and student demonstrators.
This marks Cuarón's first Mexican Oscar candidacy after his acclaimed Y Tu Mamá También failed to get Mexico's nomination in 2002, the country selected instead Maryse Sistach's Perfume de violetas, nadie te oye. Nevertheless, Y Tu Mamá También found its way to earn a nomination for best original screenplay. More recently, Cuarón won the Academy Award for best director and best editing for its sci-fi film Gravity in 2014.