I’m not sure there are anymore words that can be added to the conversation surrounding Roma, but I will surely try to convey all of my feelings here. To put it simply, Roma is a beautifully crafted masterpiece. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s so deeply personal for filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón, who drew great inspiration from his childhood, but at times I forgot I was watching a film. It felt like being introduced to new friends or reading about people I already knew.
Roma follows a year in the life of a reticent maid named Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) and the family that she works for and also lives with. The film is set in Mexico City in the 1970’s and we see Cleo experience many ups and downs, along with the family made up of a husband and wife, and their four children. The country is also in the midst of political changes, which further play a part in the story.
It’s shot entirely in black and white, yet somehow every frame is still vibrant and rich. Aparicio, a relative newcomer to acting, is particularly incredible. As Cleo, she is unassuming and demure, which may sound like weaknesses, however, they seem more like strengths for this character. Even after all the trauma Cleo faces, in the film’s final moments she is climbing an incredibly high staircase, as if to signify she is moving upward in life.
Roma is deserving of all acclaim coming its way. Cuarón is a brilliant artist and I have a great admiration for him. I cannot even fathom conceiving such a powerful story, then writing the script, directing said script and also shooting the entire film. I am always blown away by people who create from the heart. It doesn’t seem to be about dollars or recognition for Cuarón, but rather the art itself. For that, this is one of the most meaningful films I’ve seen in my time on this earth.
If you enjoy artistic films then I highly recommend Roma. It’s currently streaming exclusively on Netflix.
**If graphic nudity makes you uncomfortable (or you have kids), consider this your warning. Roma rightfully earned its “R” rating.
Roma is nominated for a whopping 10 Academy Awards! Best Foreign Language, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Picture of the Year, and Best Actress to name a handful. Have you seen it yet? What are your thoughts? I would love to hear from you. Share with me in the comments down below!