Roma (2018)

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Writer: Alfonso Cuarón
Starring: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta, Marco Graf, and more.

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The Intro:
It is about time for the Oberrated Best Picture reviews to start rolling out! I had a slow run on the nominations as I only have two of the eight films done. Those two being “Black Panther” and “A Star is Born”. To begin, I chose to go after the Netflix dark horse nomination, “Roma”.

“Roma” is a bit of a unique nomination, in my eyes. The Netflix exclusive and Afonso Cuarón (“Gravity”, “Children of Men”, “Paris, je t’aime”) led film began to garner the gaze of viewers as the awards season came closer. For myself, I did not think too much of the film due to simply my lack of knowledge of it. After hearing the buzz and taking note of the nominations, I grew to gain an interest but that interest soon was met with counter opinions like the film being boring, uninteresting, and pointless. However, these nominations do not come to be for no reason. I was confident to find the quality in this film.

IMDB Summary:
“A year in the life of a middle-class family’s maid in Mexico City in the early 1970’s.”

The Oberrating:
To be honest, I find myself struggling to say anything negative about “Roma”. The IMDB Summary paints it as is. This film is a presentation of the life of a maid to a middle-class family in the 70’s in Mexico City. The events are real and possible. The ups and downs of her life are real. The environment is real. If this film did anything for me, it shifted my being from simply watching it through my TV to nearly living the life. I felt as if I were a fly on the wall, watching everything unfold. Once the film was over, I was stunned and kind of awe-struck, to be honest. Cuarón masterfully puts this film together and makes this a truly unique experience. Hell, “Roma” makes me want to revisit “Gravity” and look at a different perspective now that I may have grown from my “young eyes” of 2013.

Now, do not get me wrong. This style of film is not for all audiences and I understand some may approach receiving this film in a negative fashion due to its pacing and subject matter. But with that, I simply can not see giving it a bad rating just because of those concepts. Either this film is not for you or you grasp its subject matter. Again though, I will understand a dislike due to pacing.

“Roma” was beautiful, simply put. The underlying theme of what women go through in an everyday scenario of living life and still trucking on was breath-taking. Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo is a titan in this film. As is her co-star Marina de Tavira as Sra. Sofia. The two live through the many joys of life as well as the pitfalls that accommodate them and it is truly wonderful to watch. Near the end of the film, the family share a moment that sent myself through a range of emotions, creating a sequence that I now consider as one of my favorite movie moments.

The Wrap-Up:
I was happy to enjoy this film, truly I was. Some opinions I heard from friends whose opinions I respect found the film to be far too slow for their taste and some went to the lengths of saying that the film was awful. I was nervous to press play but ultimately, it was one of the best decisions as a film fan. “Roma” was beautiful, emotional, and real. Hell, even despite its pace and style, I want to watch this film again, and I typically do not find much re-watch value in this kind of film.
Once again, be aware of its subject matter and that this is a slow film at times. Despite that, I found myself immersed in “Roma” and ultimately in love with it. I would paint this the dark horse of the Best Picture race but no where near an impossibility for the win.

Other Takeaways:

  • Phenomenal camera work. The cinematography is stellar.
  • There are so many still shots that I want as a mural on my wall.
  • The black and white did not create as much of a distraction as I initially thought it would.
  • Yalitza is a gem.
  • I hope Fermín gets hit by a mack truck.

Rating: 9/10

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References:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6155172/?ref_=nv_sr_1
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6155172/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0190859/?ref_=tt_ov_dr#director

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