Roma: A Review

“Roma” is one of those rare movies that only come around once every decade. Roma tells the story of Cleo a housemaid for a well to do family. The story is set in 1970’s Mexico city and spans an entire movie. Roma is a slow burn but the pace has no effect on this highly potent story. The movie manages to keep it’s focus very small but still creates a movie with a huge scope. Where its the incredibly riot long shot or something as small as a race to a restaurant Roma pulls you into a story where everything feels so perfect that you never even ask how they pulled it off.

Directed and written by Alfonso Cuarón, who also produced, edited and did cinematography for the film. Roma is a semi-autobiographical story of Cuarón’s childhood growing up in Mexico City. To the extent where the film was shot in Cuarón’s childhood home in the Roma district of Mexico City. Roma’s star Yalitza Aparicio who plays Cleo, as well as many of the other actors, had never acted professionally before. This is a fact that seems false upon viewing the movie, mainly due to how incredibly nuanced and subtle the performances are. This was a deliberate attempt to add to the movie’s realism. This realism can also be attributed to Cuarón not giving the actors the shooting script till the day of.

When watching the movie it is immediately apparent how beautiful and thought out the film is. The camera feels fluid and moves as it is a ghost watching the happenings of the movie. The cinematography and lighting in every scene is breathtaking. The world feels fleshed out and lived in whether that a wedding going on in the background or street vendors outside a movie theatre, every shot feels so natural but let is incredibly pre-meditated.

Roma is up for 10 Oscar nominations at the 2019 ceremony and to be honest it deserves everyone it up for. Roma is a master class in modern film and achieves everything and more that it was reaching for. If you have not yet watched this film, I highly encourage you to do so. If you wish to do so you can find it on Netflix.

ROMA trailer –