Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron won the best director Oscar on Sunday for his semiautobiographical film, “Roma,” which also won awards for foreign language film and cinematography.
Cuaron paid tribute to the 70 million domestic workers around the world and to indigenous women in his acceptance speech. “I want to thank the Academy for recognizing a film centered around an indigenous woman,” he said. “A character that has historically been relegated to the background of cinema.”
Cuaron was the favorite for the directing Oscar after winning multiple accolades for his lusciously shot black-and-white portrait of a domestic worker who cares for a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico City.
Cuaron has said the film, made in Spanish and an indigenous dialect, was inspired by his own memories of growing up with his family in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. He also wrote, produced, and co-edited the film, which was made with mostly amateur or little known actors.
MOST PERSONAL FILM
In a November 2018 Reuters interview, Cuaron called the film “the story of one of the human beings that I love the most. One of the women that raised me.”
“Roma” was the most personal of the films directed by Cuaron, whose career began in television in Mexico in the early 1990s.
Moving between Mexico and Hollywood, Cuaron’s movies have spanned a range of styles and subject matter, including the sexually explicit road movie “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations,” box office smash “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and the space thriller “Gravity,” which won Oscars in 2014 for directing and sound editing.
Cuaron beat four other nominated directors: Spike Lee for “BlacKkKlansman”, Adam McKay for “Vice”, Yorgos Lanthimos for “The Favourite”, and Pawel Pawlikowski for “Cold War”.