Netflix’s critically acclaimed film Roma is breaking stats left and right this awards season. It’s the little foreign language/black and white film that could and certainly has. At this point you have to call Alfonso Cuarón simply it’s “creator” since he is the film’s director, producer, cinematographer, editor, and screenwriter. Cuarón has nabbed a slew of awards this season; he took home two Golden Globes: best foreign film and best director. He increased his wins at The Critics Choice Awards taking home best picture, director and cinematography.
When the Academy Award nominations are announced Jan 22nd, Roma is expected to garner one of, if not the highest number of nominations, ten is very likely. So the question becomes, how many can Cuarón actually win? If you look back into Oscar history, winning multiple Oscars in one night isn’t too common. Mostly you will see duo wins for director and picture, since the director of a film is quite often also a producer, and that’s who gets the trophy for a picture win. Just last year, in fact, Cuarón’s buddy Guillermo del Toro took two for The Shape of Water. The year prior, composer Justin Hurwitz won both best score and song for La La Land. Cuarón’s other fellow Mexican director (the third amigo as they are commonly referred to), was the last person to win three Oscars in one night. Alejandro González Iñárritu won picture, director and screenplay for Birdman in 2014.
Only one person has ever won four Oscars in one night, and that was Walt Disney. In 1953 Disney won four Oscars, however, they were all for different films. One for Documentary (The Living Desert), Documentary Short Subject (The Alaskan Eskimo), Short Subject cartoon/animated (Toot, Whistle, Plunk & Boom) and Short Subject live action (Two-Reel). While he holds the record, it’s not for one solitary project and is controversy about his actual involvement in those projects.
Cuarón is widely expected to win best director and cinematography come Oscar night. Best Picture is looking very likely for Roma, and while he is also expected to be nominated for best editing and original screenplay, those two might be a bit tougher to win. Either way, Disney’s disputed record could very likely be broken anytime Roma is announced from the podium.
Joel & Ethan Coen took home three awards (picture, director, screenplay) for No Country for Old Men back in 2007 and before that Peter Jackson took three for The Return of the King (picture, director, screenplay). Jackson’s creative partner Fran Walsh is the only female in the trio of Oscars in one night stat. Walsh nabbed hers also for The Return of the King (Picture, screenplay, song).
Roma has already gone farther than anyone expected at the beginning of awards season. It’s an accumulating snowball effect that keeps impressing and showcasing the power of cinematic artistry. Roma is now playing in select theaters and on Netflix.