Black-and-white drama Roma scooped up the Best Foreign Language Film and the Cinematography honours at the Academy Awards here on Sunday, marking multiple firsts for director Alfonso Cuaron and his home country Mexico.
According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, “Roma” was the ninth film to be nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film but the first to win it.
In his acceptance speech, Cuaron said he was inspired by films like Jaws, Citizen Kane, The Godfather and Breathless.
The Cinematography trophy, which preceded the Foreign Language Film win, opened the Oscar account for the movie, which has a total of 10 nominations, tying with The Favourite this year.
Cuaron’s award and speech were also special because Cinematography was one of the categories that almost didn’t air live on the broadcast as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had originally proposed to present during a commercial break.
And so, Tyler Perry, before presenting the award, took a jibe at the Academy, saying he was pleased to be presenting the category live on air instead of during a commercial break.
Cuaron thanked his team by saying, “to create a single frame of film, as you well know, requires the work of a lot of people, very hard work”.
“If this film was created by my own memories, the film was crafted through the memories of what this great master of cinematography has given to us. It is well-known that in Billy Wilder’s office there was a sign that said, ‘What would Lubitsch have done?’ And for me, it was, ‘What would Chivo Lubezki (cinematographer and longtime Cuaron collaborator) have done?’ So this is for you, too, Chivo.”
Cuaron stepped in as Director of Photography of Roma after Lubezki had to pull out due to the long 109-day shooting schedule, hollywoodreporter.com reported.
The cinematography nomination for Roma, as well as its competitor, Cold War, marked the first time since 1966 when two black-and-white films had been nominated in the category in a single year, according to the official Oscar website.
Roma is also only the fifth film in Oscar history to be nominated for both Foreign Language Film and Best Picture in the same year. No movie has won both feats so far.