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Roma Could Win Netflix Its First Best Picture Oscar

Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf as Pepe, Carlos Peralta Jacobson as Paco, and Daniela Demesa as Sofi in Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón.
Image by Alfonso Cuarón. | Photo Credits: Image by Alfonso Cuarón

Back in January, Netflix crashed the Oscars party with 15 total Academy Award nominations, including the streaming platform's first-ever for best picture.

Alfonso Cuarón's Roma, the director's semi-autobiographical drama about a family in Mexico City and the caregiver who holds them together, scored 10 nominations, tied with The Favourite for the most by any movie this year. Roma earned a nominations for best picture, best director for Cuarón, best original screenplay (also for Cuarón), best cinematography (Cuarón, again), best actress for star Yalitza Aparicio, best supporting actress for costar Marina De Tavira, best foreign language film, best production design, best sound editing and best sound mixing.

While this is a wide-open best picture race, many pundits are expecting Netflix to make history with Roma on Sunday night. More than half the experts on have Roma pegged to win -- and even Amazon's Alexa has Cuarón's film landing on top of what has become a very competitive race.

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Roma, which has also been released in select theaters, debuted Nov. 21 on Netflix. It's the first streaming feature released by Netflix to ever land in the best picture category. (Last year, Netflix grabbed multiple nominations for Dee Rees' Mudbound, but the film failed to crack the best picture category.) Previously, Amazon became the first streaming platform with a best picture contender with Manchester By the Sea, which was nominated at the 2017 Oscars. (Amazon, however, released Manchester By the Sea via a more traditional theatrical model; the film didn't appear on the streaming service until months after its theatrical debut.)

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Cuarón is one of the industry's most acclaimed filmmakers, having won best director at the 2014 Oscars' ceremony for Gravity. The Mexican-born director is a heavy favorite to win the award at this year's Oscars as well. All told, Cuarón netted four individual nominations this year: picture (he was a producer on the film), director, writer and cinematographer. That tied him for the most ever individual nominations for a single film in Oscars' history.

Roma stars Aparicio as Cleo, a housekeeper living in 1970s Mexico City who cares for a middle-class family (led by De Tavira's patriarch, Sofia). Throughout the film, many tragedies befall Cleo, including a traumatic still-birth scene that Cuarón filmed without any visible cuts -- a tradition for the filmmaker. A later scene, where Cleo saves two of the family's children from drowning in the ocean is similarly shown without any visible edits.

"Ninety percent of the scenes that you see in the film come out of my memory," Cuarón told Deadline last year. "I'm not saying everything in this is linear, but what I did was compress around three years of memory into a narrative of 10 months. But almost every single scene is something I remember, complemented with the real-life Cleo [played in the film by Yalitza Aparicio]. I would talk to her about what she remembered. And then there's subtle elements of fiction because I wanted to include thematic elements that I found relevant both to character but also to this sort of broader story. What we tried to do is balance between character and a social context as well. Because we're talking about personal scars. That is definitely a period that scarred me, probably for life. I can assume that it scarred the characters that play in the film. But also the social events that were portrayed are one of the most important and deep scars in the Mexican psyche. In the collective consciousness."

Roma isn't the only Netflix success story at this year's Oscars: Joel and Ethan Coen's The Ballad of Buster Scruggs earned three nominations, including best adapted screenplay, best costume design and best original song. The Netflix film End Game was also honored in the documentary short category as was Period. End of Sentence.

The 2019 Oscars will air live on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8/7c on ABC. That channel is available for live-streaming at ABC's website as well as Hulu's Live TV service.

Roma is now streaming on Netflix.

Oscars 2019: When Are the Oscars and How to Watch Online

Hollywood's biggest night has finally arrived. The 91st Academy Awards are Sunday night, live from Los Angeles -- and despite the many hiccups this year's show has already suffered, the ceremony is still the premier event of the awards season.

Not that the producers of even academy members themselves seem to fall into that group. The weeks leading into this year's Oscars 2019 broadcast have been filled with missteps and errors -- including but not limited to a controversial decision to give out four smaller awards during the broadcast's commercial breaks (with the results folded into the telecast via an edited package). That change was swiftly denounced on social media and later reversed. Movies, now more than ever!

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But regardless of the backroom drama surrounding the broadcast itself, the Oscars are poised to be a celebration 2018's best and biggest movies -- and it's a wide-open race for Best Picture thanks to a wild season of precursor upsets. The biggest prize for drama at the Golden Globe Awards went to Bohemian Rhapsody, while the BAFTAs picked Alfonso Cuarón's Roma as the year's best film. Green Book has also picked up some unexpected steam this season (winning in the comedy category at the Golden Globes and taking the Producers Guild award for best film), while the SAG Awards proved that people shouldn't sleep on Black Panther this year either.

There is also some small debate around who will take home the Academy's acting prizes. Olivia Colman's BAFTA-winning turn in The Favourite is, well, the favorite for some. But Glenn Close's work in The Wife has already earned her a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award -- she's a big favorite (sorry, Olivia) to win on Sunday night. Best Supporting Actress nominee Regina King seems poised to finally collect her first Oscar for If Beale Street Could Talk, so long as the Academy doesn't try to make it up to Vice's Amy Adams for past oversights. Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) and Mahershala Ali (Green Book) also seem like locks for the leading and supporting categories, respectively -- unless the controversies surrounding their pictures finally catch up to them. (In which case, expect Christian Bale and Richard E. Grant to pick up their slack.)

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We'll have to tune in to the show to see which films and performances stuck with Oscars voters the most this year, so here's what you need to know about how to watch the 91st Academy Awards.

When are the Oscars and what channel are the Oscars on? The 2019 Oscars will air live on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8/7c on ABC. That channel is available for live-streaming at ABC's website as well as Hulu's Live TV service.

Who's hosting the Oscars? Glad you asked! This year, no one will host the Oscars for the first time in 30 years. Of course, that wasn't always the plan. Kevin Hart was hired and, almost as quickly, stepped away from the role after some of his old, homophobic tweets resurfaced on social media. And even though Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross proved they were totally up to the job when they announced the nominations, the academy and ABC decided to forgo a host in 2019. (It was later reported that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was approached to host, but he declined because of scheduling issues.) ABC President of Entertainment Karey Burke has assured journalists the show's no-host formula will be smooth, putting the spotlight on the presenters as well as the stars and films being honored.

Why are the Oscars so controversial this year? The Academy has also been doing damage control for weeks. After Allison Janney revealed she was not initially slated to present and that it was a heartbreaker for her, the Academy quickly remedied that and invited all four of last year's acting winners to present this year, per usual. The Academy also announced that all five nominees for Best Original Song will be given their time in the spotlight, despite originally only planning to feature two: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's "Shallow" and Kendrick Lamar and SZA's "All the Stars" (Lamar, however, will not appear during the show).

Another controversial decision made by the Academy was shifting certain categories off into the commercial breaks. This year, at least at first, four winners will be announced away from the televised broadcast: Best Cinematography (where Cuarón is a favorite for Roma), Best Editing (which could go to Bohemian Rhapsody, a victory that might melt Film Twitter), Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Vice is in the lead there) and Best Live-Action Short (sorry, this one maybe deserves a spot amongst the ads).

Following intense backlash from the film community, the Academy defended its plan in a letter to members, writing that the acceptance speeches for those four wins would be aired during the telecast but that the plan was simply to shore up time spent on talent walking to the stage. "We'd like to assure you that no award category at the 91st Oscars ceremony will be presented in a manner that depicts the achievements of its nominees and winners as less than any others," the letter read. But the Academy later backed off these controversial plans -- and all 24 categories will be awarded during the live broadcast.

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Who's presenting and performing at the Oscars? Janney, Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell will return to present. The Academy has also announced that Awkwafina, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lopez, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Amandla Stenberg, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson, Constance Wu, Javier Bardem, Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, Emilia Clarke, Laura Dern, Samuel L. Jackson, Stephan James, Keegan-Michael Key, KiKi Layne, James McAvoy, Melissa McCarthy, Jason Momoa, Sarah Paulson, Elsie Fisher, Danai Gurira, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Keaton, Helen Mirren, John Mulaney, Tyler Perry, Pharrell Williams, Krysten Ritter, Paul Rudd and Michelle Yeoh will serve as presenters for the showcase.

The evening will also include a slate of eight presenters from outside of the Hollywood realm, including tennis star Serena Williams, who is set to speak about what A Star Is Born means to her. Producer Donna Gigliotti told the New York Times of the decision, "Along with inclusion, which we definitely want to embrace, the big theme of the show is about movies connecting us -- not in this theater but in a big, sweeping, cultural way."

Other stars alongside Williams who will introduce the Best Picture nominees include chef José Andrés, actor and comic Dana Carvey, actor and singer Queen Latifah, Congressman John Lewis, actor Diego Luna, musician Tom Morello, actor and comic Mike Myers, comic and late-night host Trevor Noah, actor Amandla Stenberg and singer and actor (and all-around legend) Barbra Streisand.

"Movies connect us all," said Oscars producers Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss about the decision to have a starry roster of Best Picture introductions. "They move us, and they create moments and memories that unite us. We are thrilled to assemble this well-known array of film lovers to introduce and share their reflections on the Best Picture-nominated movies."

Who is nominated for Oscars in 2019? Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star Is Born and Vice are all competing for Best Picture. Meanwhile, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Willem Dafoe, Rami Malek and Viggo Mortensen will all duke it out for Best Actor, while Yalitza Aparicio, Glenn Close, Olivia Colman, Lady Gaga and Melissa McCarthy contend for Best Actress. Click here for the full list of the 2019 Academy Award nominees.

Who has the most Oscars? Let's end this with a bit of Oscars trivia. Katharine Hepburn has the most Oscars for performers, with four. Numerous legendary stars have won three Oscars, including Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson and Daniel Day-Lewis. For directors, John Ford won four Oscars. But his total can't compare to Walt Disney, who earned a record 26 Oscars during his life. As for individual films, Titanic, Ben-Hur and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King have won the most Oscars ever, tied with 11.

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Will Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Phil Coulson Appear in Avengers: Endgame?

Clark Gregg, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. | Photo Credits: Jennifer Clasen, ABC

Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) may be dead to rights when Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for Season 6 -- or so the show wants us to believe -- but that doesn't mean we've seen the last of the fearless leader.

We're hardcore counting on a few Philinda flashbacks in the Season 6 premiere to help us bid adieu to Coulson, but that's not the only opportunity we'll have to see him in action. There's a whole world of Marvel movies out there, after all. While catching up with the S.H.I.E.L.D. cast at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, we couldn't resist asking Gregg about future big screen appearances by Coulson; more specifically, whether we should keep our eyes peeled for one last showing from him when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters in April.

Like all other actors in the Marvel family, Gregg was notoriously tight-lipped (ever-aware that Marvel snipers can and will take you out at a moments notice for spoiler-related offenses), but he didn't rule the possibility out. "In the world of Marvel anything's possible," Gregg told TV Guide of a potential cameo.

There is one place we know we'll see Coulson soon though -- it just happens to be in the past.

"I know that you will see a young, fresh-looking Phil Coulson in Captain Marvel," he teased. "You'll see an astonishingly young-looking me."

Gregg is obviously alluding to the fact that Captain Marvel is set in 1995, when Phil Coulson was just a rookie agent working closely under Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Much like Robert Downey Jr. was digitally remastered to look younger in Captain America: Civil War in a flashback, Gregg will be digitally de-aged in the film to portray his younger self.

Now if only we could all turn back the clock so effortlessly!

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for Season 6 on ABC this summer.

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