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Netflix’s Roma sweeps New York Critics awards, builds momentum for Oscars

Netflix’s Roma swept the New York Critics circle awards, cementing its reputation as an Oscars favourite.

hollywood Updated: Nov 30, 2018 17:28 IST
Associated Press
This image released by Netflix shows Yalitza Aparicio, centre, in a scene from the film Roma, by filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron. (AP)

In what may be just the first of many such sweeps, Alfonso Cuaron's masterful, memory-drenched drama Roma dominated the New York Film Critics Circle Awards on Thursday, winning best film, best director and best cinematography.

The overwhelming show of support for Roma by the critics group wasn't a surprise. Cuaron's film has been hailed as a masterpiece since winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. It's widely expected to contend for best picture, among other categories, at the Academy Awards, and Netflix has put its full weight behind an awards campaign. Cuaron made the black-and-white 1970s-set film based on his own upbringing in Mexico City, serving as his own cinematographer.

The critics voted Ethan Hawke best actor for Paul Schrader's First Reformed, and named Schrader's script best screenplay. Those wins provided yet another boost to Schrader's anguished tale of a doubt-riddled pastor (Hawke), which took the same awards at Monday's Gotham Awards.

This image released by Netflix shows filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, left, and actress Yalitza Aparicio on the set of Roma. ( AP )

While the selections of critics groups like the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association often deviate from awards-season favourites, their prestige and early timing can bring less heralded films and performers into the Oscar conversation. That may have happened with the group's pick for best actress: Regina Hall, star of Andrew Bujalski's indie comedy Support the Girls, about the waitress staff of a Texas sports bar. Hall bested the likes of Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) and Olivia Colman (The Favourite).

Supporting acting prizes went to more widely acknowledged contenders: Regina King for her performance as the matriarch of Barry Jenkins' James Baldwin adaptation If Beale Street Could Talk; and Richard E. Grant as Melissa McCarthy's debauched conspirator in the literary forgery drama Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Leaving the bigger categories to Roma, the critics voted Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida follow-up Cold War best foreign language film. Best documentary went to Minding the Gap, Bing Liu's directorial debut about a trio of skateboarding friends in Rockford, Illinois. Bo Burnham's tender coming-of-age tale Eighth Grade took best first film.

And fresh off its glowing reviews, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was chosen as best animated film over Pixar's Incredibles 2.

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First Published: Nov 30, 2018 17:28 IST