'Roma' Becomes The First Netflix Film To Join The Criterion Collection

While a few original Netflix shows have received Blu-ray releases, Netflix movies tend not to get the same treatment. But that's about to change – in a big way. Roma, the Netflix movie that scored several Oscar nominations and took home Best Foreign Language Film, is getting a Blu-ray release – and not just any old Blu-ray release, either. We're talking The Criterion Collection here, which is about as fancy as you can get in the Blu-ray world.

I was wondering the other day if The Irishman, Martin Scorsese's upcoming Netflix movie, would ever end up on Blu-ray. My original assumption was negative – after all, Netflix movies don't usually get Blu releases. But then came the news that we're getting a Roma Blu-ray release from Criterion. If that could happen for Alfonso Cuaron's award winner maybe The Irishman stands a chance as well.

Roma "follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young domestic worker for a family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City. Delivering 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." It was one of 2018's best films, and really should've won Best Picture instead of Green Book, but its Best Foreign Language win is nothing to sneeze at.

Bringing Roma to the Criterion Collection feels like a sea change of sorts. There was a time when the thought of a Netflix movie being released via Criterion seemed silly at best. Now, it's a reality – and it makes sense. Roma is highly acclaimed and exactly the type of movie that fits into the collection. You might argue that a Netflix movie doesn't need a Blu-ray release since it's on Netflix already. But here's the thing: not everyone has Netflix. And on top of that movies just look better on Blu-ray than they do on streaming. Bringing Roma to Criterion is a good move, and I can only hope some other Netflix films will follow in its footsteps. Yes, I'm talking about Bright (no I'm not).

Best of all, the Criterion release gives us something we definitely can't get on Netflix: special features. Here's what the Criterion release includes:

  • 4K digital master, supervised by director Alfonso Cuarón, with Dolby Atmos soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Road to "Roma," a new documentary about the making of the film, featuring behind-the-scenes footage and an interview with Cuarón
  • Snapshots from the Set, a new documentary featuring actors Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira, producers Gabriela Rodríguez and Nicolás Celis, production designer Eugenio Caballero, casting director Luis Rosales, executive producer David Linde, and others
  • New documentaries about the film's sound and postproduction processes, featuring Cuarón; Sergio Diaz, Skip Lievsay, and Craig Henighan from the postproduction sound team; editor Adam Gough; postproduction supervisor Carlos Morales; and finishing artist Steven J. Scott
  • New documentary about the film's ambitious theatrical campaign and social impact in Mexico, featuring Celis and Rodríguez
  • Nothing at Stake, a new video essay by filmmaker :: kogonada
  • Trailers
  • Alternate French subtitles and Spanish SDH for the film
  • PLUS: Essays by novelist Valeria Luiselli and historian Enrique Krauze, along with (Blu-ray only) writing by author Aurelio Asiain and production-design images with notes by Caballero
  • The Roma Criterion Collection Blu-ray arrives on February 11, 2020. See the cover art below.