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This new Netflix Oscar-contender film has 98% on Rotten Tomatoes – but should you see it in the cinema?

'Roma' is the latest film from 'Children of Men' director Alfonso Cuarón

This new Netflix Oscar-contender film has 98% on Rotten Tomatoes – but should you see it in the cinema?
12 October 2018

The whole joy of Netflix films, obviously, is that you can binge them from the comfort of you own home, wearing nothing but your jim-jams (or you’re welcome to be totally nude, if you’re feeling fancy, we don’t judge).

But if you want to catch the full marvel of Netflix’s latest Oscar-contender Roma, critics are suggesting you pop down to your local cineplex.

Netflix’s latest black-and-white film, from filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), tells the tale of a family’s struggle to survive amid domestic turmoil and political strife in 1970s Mexico.

A Netflix spokesperson said about the film: “The most personal project to date from Academy Award-winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón, Roma follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young domestic worker for a family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City.

“Delivering an artful love letter to the women who raised him, Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst political turmoil of the 1970s. Cuarón’s first project since the groundbreaking Gravity in 2013, Roma will be available in theaters and on Netflix later this year.”

Cuarón , 56, is known in Hollywood as one of the so-called ‘Three Amigos,’ along with fellow Mexican directors Alejandro G. Inarritu (Birdman) and Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth).

And critics are already raving about this latest flick, which currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 98% (and 100% among top critics).

“Roma finds writer-director Alfonso Cuarón in complete, enthralling command of his visual craft - and telling the most powerfully personal story of his career,” says the Rotten Tomatoes critics’ consensus.

“The Oscar-winning director has made his best film yet with this exquisite study of class and domestic crisis in 70s Mexico City,” added The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw in his five-star review. 

The film won this year’s Venice International Film Festival’s Golden Lion award, the highest prize at the festival, and has been selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards. And there’s even talk about a nomination for Best Picture.

Cuarón (left) with The Shape of Water pal Guillermo del Toro      

The film is scheduled to be released on Netflix on 14 December 2018 and will also run in cinemas.

And /Film writer Siddhant Adlakha practically begged viewers to go and watch the film on the big screen.

“Roma is a Netflix release, yes, but if the streaming giant’s theatrical rollout finds its way to your vicinity, you owe yourself the unique experience of sitting down in a seat in order to walk through someone else’s memory,” he said. “It’s like nothing you’ve ever heard or seen.”

Cuarón has also got the backing of his Oscar-winning buddy Guillermo del Toro who, after a recent screening of the film in New York, joked: “Roma is, for me, the culmination of Alfonso’s career so far. When I first saw the movie, I said to him: ‘This is not only your best movie, it’s one of my top five favourite movies of all time. But don’t get big-headed – it’s No. 5.’” 

(Images: Netflix / Participant Media / Esperanto Filmoj / Getty)