Dir. Alfonso Cuaron / Mexico / 2018 / 135 mins / 19+
Spanish with English subtitles
Nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture. Another 131 wins & 139 nominations.
Mexico’s Alfonso Cuaron’s thrillingly diverse career encompasses everything from Gravity to Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to Y Tu Mama Tambien. Roma is his masterpiece. An evocation of middle-class household in Mexico City in 1970 (Cuaron would have been nine years old at the time). This scintillating black and white film focuses on Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a live-in maid, who tends to the two children, cleans and cooks, and observes, discreetly, as her employers’ marriage falls apart. But Cleo’s own love life is just as fraught…
Spanning about a year, Roma conveys not only tender and sometimes painful memories of the domestic space, but also suggests wider tensions in the social sphere. Innocent pleasures - going to the movies, a trip to the country, an initially curious reference to martial arts training - take on a darker hue as we learn more about the turmoil roiling within the country. These themes are developed with subtly and grace, leading to a climax that is both heartbreaking and deeply compassionate. Roma is one of those unforgettable films that reveals the depth and preciousness of ordinary lives.
"A richly textured masterpiece, Roma is cinema at its purest and most human." Tomris Laffly, Time Out