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Pedro Almodovar on ‘Roma’: ‘The Best Film of the Year’ (EXCLUSIVE)

MADRID — Pedro Almodóvar made an appearance last night in Madrid to present “Roma” to industry members and friends at a private screening held by Netflix.

“It’s the best film of the year,” Almodóvar said calling “Roma”  “two hours from a master that sweep spectators away.”

Almodovar joins an early crescendo of support for Alfonso Cuaron’s Venice Golden Lion winner which swept the New York Film Critics Circle Awards last Thursday, winning best film, director and cinematography, the last also for Cuarón.

In another high-profile endorsement in October, Guillermo del Toro presented “Roma” at October’s 56th New York Film Festival, “the culmination of Alfonso’s career so far.”

He added: “When I first saw the movie, I said to him, ‘This is not only your best movie, it’s one of my top five movies of all time. But don’t get big-headed: it’s number five.”

Almodóvar’s endorsement comes one day before “Roma” bows on Wednesday in a limited cinema theater roll-out in Spain, taking advantage of a two-day domestic bank holiday. Netflix has cut a deal with Spain’s Espectarama cinema chain, co-owned by leading distributor A Contracorriente, which will see it screen at Barcelona’s Verdi and Verdi Park and Madrid’s Verdi and Verdi Alberto Aguilera, classic arthouse locations. According to Spanish press reports, Netflix reached out to other cinema theater circuits in select number of major Spanish cities. Only one theater, the Albéniz in Malaga, is screening the film.

The Cinesa exhibition group issued a press statement announcing that “we screen films which comply with a period of exclusivity in Spain” a reference to Spain’s traditional theatrical-to-TV window which is not established by any kind of legislation but traditionally runs to three-to-four months.

Beyond the Oscars, where “Roma” has also been selected as Mexico’s entry in the foreign-language category, apart from opting for the main awards, “Roma” is also Mexico’s submission for Spanish Academy’s Goya Awards, to be held on Feb. 2.

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