Big Oscar Wins for Latino Movies

Big Oscar Wins for Latino Movies

We’re officially in #OscarAftermath after last night’s award ceremony and as predicted, both Roma and Into the Spider-Verse took home some big wins. Indeed, it was a night defined by Latino Excellence. 

For Into the Spider-Verse, a movie headlined by Afro-Latino superhero, Miles Morales, the win for Best Animated Feature was historic in multiple ways. As Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Phil Lord, and Christopher Miller all took the stage to collect their Oscar, Lord celebrated what the film meant to him. In his speech, Lord said: “When we hear that somebody’s kid was watching the movie and turned to them and said, ‘He looks like me,’ or ‘They speak Spanish like us,’ we feel like we already won.” Spider-Verse was a big win for both African American and Latino representation, even grossing an astounding $360 million worldwide. 

In the wake of Spider-Verse‘s win, Ramsey became the first African-American director to win an Oscar in that category. A testament to Spider-Verse‘s quality is more than just it’s insane box-office take home. Since the category of “Best Animated Film” was created in 2001, Disney has won a dozen of those awards. But Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse isn’t Disney, it’s Sony and this marks the second time Sony Pictures Animation won the award, breaking the Disney streak. 

On the live-action front, Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma was a force to be reckoned with. The semi-autobiographical movie about 1970s Mexico took home three awards: Best Foreign Language Film,  Best Cinematography, and Best Director. In the case of Best Foreign Language Film, Roma marked the first time a Mexican film won after nine nominations.  

Out of the last six years, five of the directors who won the Best Director award were Mexican, and Alfonso Cuarón’s win continued this trend. Upon receiving his gilded statue, he thanked his home country, Mexico, saying: “This is a Mexican film. This award belongs to Mexico. The cast is 100% Mexican. This film does not exist if not for Mexico.” The director also had some insight on the portrayal of Latino Americans in Hollywood, saying: “There is so much talk about diversity. Some progress has been made but definitely Hispanic Americans – especially Chicanos – are badly represented still.”

Roma didn’t win all of the awards it was nominated for, although the sheer amount of nominations it scored was record-breaking. Despite that, the night proved to be a historic night for Latino filmmakers and Latino representation. Latino Excellence indeed. 

What did you think? Were you pleased with the results of the Oscars? Let us know in the comments below!


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