Alfonso Cuarón's breathtaking film about his childhood in 1970s Mexico City, Roma, swept the Oscar nominations earlier this week and could become the first foreign-language movie to ever win Best Picture. But for all the movie's success, the US government still refuses to give one of the film's Mexican stars a tourist visa to attend the Oscars ceremony, IndieWire reports.
Actor Jorge Antonio Guerrero, who played that martial arts asshole and Cleo's love interest in the film, told Mexico's Quién magazine that the US has denied his visa requests three times over the past year and he's worried that he won't be able to secure one before the Academy Awards next month.
According to Guerrero, at least one of the times he applied, the US Embassy mistakenly thought he was trying to go the United States for work, instead of just trying to get the opportunity to see his movie win some Oscars. He also claimed that one visa interviewer refused to even read a letter from Roma's producer at Netflix inviting Guerrero to the ceremony and confirming his role in the film.
"I took a letter that they did not want to read," Guerrero told Quién in Spanish. "In my second attempt, they said that I was going to work and I answered no, that I was going as a guest. And this last attempt was unmemorable. It seemed that there was even an anger on the part of the young lady who interviewed me."
Roma is currently nominated for Best Picture and Best Director, and the film's star, Yalitza Aparicio, is the first Indigenous woman to be nominated for Best Actress. It's in the running for ten separate categories, tied with The Favourite for most Oscar nominations this season, and it's arguably the greatest movie of the year—though it probably won't win Best Picture.
Regardless of which statues Roma winds up taking home on Oscars night, the film is a goddamn masterpiece, and Guerrero should be there on the red carpet with his fellow Roma co-stars to celebrate their monumental achievement.
The 2019 Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on February 24 at Hollywood's Dolby Theater. Let's hope the US can get its shit together between now and then and finally fork over the tourist visa Guerrero obviously deserves.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.