Netflix is finally in the hunt for Hollywood’s ultimate prize.
The streaming company received its first-ever best picture Oscar nomination on Tuesday for Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” a black-and-white exploration of the “Gravity” director’s youth and the life of the nanny who helped raise him in Mexico. The drama received 10 nominations in total, making it by far Netflix’s biggest hit with the motion picture academy to date.
The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company has been focused on awards recognition ever since venturing into the original programming space with the series “House of Cards” in 2013. But while the Television Academy has been receptive to that and other programs like “Orange Is the New Black” and “Stranger Things,” the film community has mostly balked. Maiden Oscar hopeful “Beasts of No Nation” was completely ignored in 2015, while Sundance acquisition “Mudbound” struggled to land a handful of noms a year ago.
Streaming competitor Amazon — with a distribution model that respects theatrical windows for exhibitors — beat Netflix to the best-picture mark with 2016’s “Manchester by the Sea,” but Netflix has been successful in wooing the documentary branch with pics like “13th,” “Icarus,” and “The White Helmets.”
“Roma” was the most critically laureled movie of the year, receiving more than 20 best-film prizes from regional groups all over the country, including the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Critics’ Choice Award. It is also only the 11th foreign-language pic to receive a best picture nom. The last foreign movie to be recognized in the category was Michael Haneke’s “Amour” in 2012.
Other movies in the mix for best picture this year include “BlacKkKlansman,” “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Favourite,” “Green Book,” “A Star Is Born,” and “Vice.”