Quick Review: Roma (2018)

Since the Oscars are this weekend (who else is super excited to see how this plays out…no host, the strong chance for a Netflix film/foreign film to win “Best Picture”, superhero movies getting critical acclaim Oscar-clout, etc.), I figured I’d post a review on a film that’s been nominated for 10 categories…

There are periods in history that scar societies and moments in life that transform us as individuals.

What I’m about to say may go against public opinion, but I’m going to say it anyway…I like Roma and thought it was a great movie, but I do think that it is slightly overrated. Sure there is a lot of social commentary (the lives of the “Haves” and “Have Nots” are so different until they intersect/overlap, highlighting the voices of indigenous peoples, etc.), something that is very much needed in our current political and social climate. But for all of the praise it received, I just knew I was going to be blown away visually and mentally and emotionally. Like I said, I liked the movie, thought Alfonso Cuaron directed a fine piece of work loosely based on his life (if you’ve read some of my other reviews, you know I live for a beautiful black and white artsy film and this was definitely that)…it was visually captivating and the cinematography and panning shots were stunning.

Essentially this film was just a small introspective of a period of a year in the life of a middle-class Mexican family, but from the perspective of their maid, during a time of turmoil and social/political change. The performances were great and authentic (I love that this was breakout star Yalitza Aparicio‘s very first film and thought she was great, we’ll see what Oscar voters think since she’s nominated for “Best Actress in a Leading Role”). I also loved the fact that this film shinned a spotlight on a perspective/story that isn’t usually depicted/voiced in today’s movies (longer post about that coming soon), that of indigenous peoples. I loved that this was a foreign, subtitled film because oftentimes, we forget that those in different countries with different backgrounds and even in different time periods, live very similar lives to ours…they experience the same things…longing, hope, despair, heartache, abandonment, a sense of (or lack of) belonging, the need for connection, etc. I read that Cuaron was the only person on set to know the entire script and direction of the film. Each day the cast would get their lines and receive contradictory directions so that there was chaos on set because “that’s exactly what life is like: it’s chaotic and you can’t really plan how you’ll react to a given situation” said Cuaron.

We are alone. No matter what they tell you, we women are always alone.

I don’t want my opening statement about the film to take away from such a beautiful and powerful film, I truly did enjoy it…I just was expecting a little bit more and thought it kind of dragged and was a little boring at times (but that’s how life is, right?!). But overall, I’d definitely recommend this…every now and again a film comes along that all movie lovers and those that appreciate the craft should see, and this is definitely one of them! Currently streaming on Netflix.