This week sees the release of one of the best films of the year, Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma.
A story that chronicles a tumultuous year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s, the film is an artful love letter to the women who raised him. Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst political turmoil of the 1970s – about as different a project to Gravity as it gets.
The movie first premiered this summer at the Venice Film Festival, before going on to take home the Golden Lion for Best Film at the event – placing it at the front of the pack for this year’s awards race.
“A tiny masterpiece,” is how we described the film in our five-star review at Venice, praising it as an “epic with a heart on its sleeve”.
The movie joins fellow awards contender The Ballad of Buster Scruggs in being released in UK cinemas before they hit Netflix. To begin with, though, that cinema run will be restricted to only one venue: London’s Curzon Soho. A week later, on 6th December (one week before its Netflix debut), it will then expand to Curzon Bloomsbury. On Friday 14th December, when it hits Netflix worldwide, Roma will expand to all 13 Curzon venues across the UK.
The streaming giant has recently come under fire for its limited cinema release strategy, which is essentially restricted to Curzon venues – as an exhibitor and a distributor, the cinema operator (which has its own streaming service) is a natural fit for day-and-date distribution. Other indie venues across the country, though, have called for Netflix to partner with them too, giving film fans keen to see things on the big screen more options.
Outlaw King saw Netflix expand its range to Scotland’s Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Filmhouse. They will once again partner with Netflix to show Roma from 14th December, along with Ireland’s Dublin Lighthouse and Galway Palas. The good news is that Screen reports that talks are also ongoing with other UK indie cinemas, with an eye to expanding Roma’s theatrical run after its Netflix launch. Screen notes that one exhibitor says Netflix is looking to book screens that can project 70mm film or 4K digital and support Dolby Atmos sound, which may leave several indie venues unable to meet its criteria. Nonetheless, the news that Netflix is prepared to widen its theatrical distribution is a positive step forwards in a heated debate.
Additional screening confirmed:
Roma will also screen at BFI Southbank on Wednesday 19th December at 8.30pm.
You can view times and book tickets for Roma at Curzon Cinemas here, Edinburgh Filmhouse here, Glasgow Film Theatre here, Galway Palas here, Dublin Lighthouse here, and the BFI’s NFT1 here
Watch this space for more information of additional cinema screenings – or head this way to see the film’s trailer.
Roma is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.