In the first win of the night for Roma, Alfonso Cuarón took the Oscar for Best Cinematography, becoming the first DP to score an Academy Award for a movie he also directed. Cuarón shot his own film when frequent collaborator Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki wasn’t available and tonight noted, “It’s very well known that Billy Wilder had in his office a sign that said ‘What would Lubitsch have done?’ For me it was ‘What would Chivo have done?’”
Cuarón adds this to wins from BAFTA, the National Society of Film Critics, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle and many others along the awards season trail. He is the fourth person ever to be nominated personally for four Oscars for the same film and this was his third overall win after previously scoring a Directing and Editing trophy for Gravity.
Roma, a reflection on Cuarón’s childhood in Mexico City and the women who surrounded him, is tied for the most nominations tonight. He made sure to thank his actresses and Oscar nominees Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira noting that “to create a single frame of film is very hard work” and is not done alone. He added, “If this film was created by my own memories, it was crafted through the memories great auteurs of cinematography have given to us.”
In presenting the prize to Cuarón, Tyler Perry noted it was a pleasure to do so “live on camera, not during the commercial break. Thank you, Academy.”