Netflix is in a bit of a tiff with the Academy Awards, which require that all movies up for nomination have at least a week-long theatrical run. The outcome of this is that Netflix is basically releasing their awards contenders in theaters at the bare minimum level, and for the most part I’m fine with that, but not in the case of Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, a movie that by all reports — including our own — needs to be seen on the biggest of big screens possible with the best of sound systems possible. Sadly, Deadline is reporting that the film will only have a one-week engagement on December 14 in New York and LA, with only100 theaters worldwide screening it. This basically cripples the chances of the majority of the population being able to see it in all its glory.
Look, I’m all for the streaming revolution and love that Netflix is allowing us to watch incredible movies from the comfort of our homes, but this one kills me. Some things should be seen with Dolby Atmos (as Cuarón is gunning for in the theaters that the movie will release in) on a screen that lets you soak in everything. Roma is one of those things.
Of course, it’s not all Netflix’s fault. Since the movie is releasing day-and-date the same time on Netflix that means a ton of theaters don’t want to carry it because they assume that means less audience. There have been far smarter people writing far better words than me on this, but that attitude is archaic and stupid.
What if — and I’m just spitballing here — we could all watch movies in the way we wanted to on the same release date? Wouldn’t you buy a ticket to Roma in a theater if you could? It’s a film that demands immersion and attention and I don’t get that on my couch. I sure as hell would jump at the chance to see it on the big screen.