‘Roma’ guides Netflix to best-ever BAFTA haul

‘Roma’ director Alfonso Cuarón

Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Netflix had its best year ever at the UK’s Oscars last night. The streaming service’s hot favourite Roma took home four BAFTAs, out of seven nominations, including Best Picture. Netflix’s only other candidate, the Coen Brothers’ western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, lost out to British comedy The Favourite in the costume design category. Until yesterday, the platform had only scooped a single film BAFTA back in 2016 when Ava DuVernay’s 13th won Best Documentary.

Roma also won Best Director and Best Cinematography for Alfonso Cuarón, and Best Film Not in the English Language. Amazon’s polish epic Cold War, which was also nominated in those categories along with Best Screenplay, went home empty handed. As a consolation, the film won the top award from the American Society of Cinematographers over the weekend, boosting its chances to repeat the trick at the Oscars, where it’s also up for Best Director and Best Foreign Language Film. Roma, meanwhile, leads the pack with 10 Academy Award nominations.

For a moment there it looked like Roma‘s star was waning after it lost to Green Book at the Golden Globes and the Producers Guild of America awards, but its BAFTA tally puts it back on track for Oscars glory.

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Netflix on course for best year ever at UK's BAFTA film awards


Netflix

As the dust settles on the Golden Globes, streaming services are already gearing up for their best showing ever at the BAFTAs — aka the UK’s Oscars. Netflix is up for eight awards (up from three last year), mainly thanks to Alfonso Cuarón’s deeply personal Mexican drama, Roma, which already snagged the Best Foreign Language Film gong at the Globes and is nominated in the BAFTA Best Film category.

Amazon also racked up four nominations for Polish romantic epic, Cold War, though it missed out on best picture. Coincidentally, both films are shot in black and white and set amidst the backdrop of turbulent political periods. In addition, Netflix’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs also picked up a nomination for Best Costume Design.

It’s been a hard-fought battle to BAFTAs glory for streaming platforms in the past. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts only began considering the likes of Netflix and Amazon for film awards in 2016. Accolades followed for Amazon’s Manchester by the Sea and Netflix’s documentary 13th. Much like its US counterparts, the BAFTA’s entry requirements state that a film must be released theatrically to a paying audience. Sure enough, Netflix made a big push to get its awards-tipped films into cinemas worldwide last year, among them Roma.

Nonetheless, it will be an uphill battle on the night for the streamers, with British film The Favourite leading the charge with 13 BAFTA nominations (including Best Film), while Bohemian Rhapsody, First Man, and A Star is Born trail with seven each. The BAFTAs will take place on February 10th, two weeks ahead of the Oscars.

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