"Roma" could be the biggest piece of Oscar bait ever dangled before the nose of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It's precisely the black and white, foreign language, depression fest that Netflix has been looking for to break into the world of respectable original films.
The beginning of the film drags a little and is filled with artistic camera work that can be a bit overbearing at times. It was like watching an art film from a college student who had just learned the close-up technique and was determined to fit it into every scene they could.
It overcomes a slow start with pivotal defining moments for characters in key roles and except for an inordinate amount of close up shots in the first 30 minutes it's a beautifully shot film. It goes without saying that a film nominated for 10 Academy Awards is probably going to hold up pretty well.
"Roma" is exactly what you probably think it is. It's Netflix's best attempt at grabbing as many Oscar nominations as it can and honestly they nailed it. Netflix has taken pretty big swings at the award season before with films like "Beasts of No Nation" which earned a Golden Globe Nomination and "Mudbound" which earned four Oscar nominations. "Roma" has been it's most successful film thus far regarding nominations, and for good reason.
It's received a myriad of Oscar nominations for awards such as Best Actress and Best Screenplay. The most surprising of the nominations are Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. These nominations are surprising because "Roma" uses little to no music. The sound is clear and distinct but there is no musical backdrop, and those not fluent in Spanish cannot distinguish whether or not the dialogue is clear as they depend on subtitles.
"Roma" is worth your time, but be warned that it will take an immense amount of concentration to catch all of its symbolism while keeping up with subtitles. Netflix put all of their marbles into this one, and I expect it to pay off for them this award season.