Roma - This Deeply Personal Movie Rocks
Dir: Alfonso Cuaron
Starring Yalitza Aparichio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey
Alfonso Cuaron’s autobiographical look back to his childhood is an understated pleasure. Set within a fairly well to do middle class household in Mexico City at the turn of the ‘70s, Roma focuses less on the family per se (of which one of the boys must surely be an Alfonso avatar) and more on their house maid Cleo (a beautifully effecting Aparicio.)
The plot is delivered leisurely and in what often feels like an almost inconsequential manner, finding its way through the day to day and minute to minute interactions of the family and their staff. It’s an observational film at times, more than a dramatic one, but also one capable of striking moments – an earthquake in a hospital baby unit, the hugely distressing birth of Cleo’s unwanted child. Best of all, in a time of political upheaval in his home country, is a brilliantly staged recreation of a political riot, played out on an epic scale but seen mostly through the windows of a local furniture store under siege. It is this combination of the day to day often mundane events of family life, juxtaposed with how small moments become epic events that really defines Roma.
Beautifully rendered in black and white, and shot by Alfonso himself who also writes, directs, co-edits – and yes, probably made the sandwiches – Roma is a film full of slowly paced, but nonetheless, fully rewarding riches.
We should all be applauding Netflix for not only helping films like this get made (and this may not have been made by other avenues) but also getting them seen. Bravo all round!
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