D: Alfonso Cuarón

Netflix/Participant Media/Esperanto (Alfonso Cuarón, Gabriela Rodriguez & Nicolas Celis)

Mexico 2018

135 mins


W: Alfonso Cuarón

DP: Alfonso Cuarón

Ed: Alfonso Cuarón & Adam Gough

Yalitza Aparicio (Cleo Gutierrez), Marina de Tavira (Sofia), Fernando Grediaga (Antonio), Jorge Antonio Ferrin (Fermín), Marco Graf (Pepe), Daniela Demesa (Sofi), Diego Cortina Autrey (Toño)

Roma, for me, is solid proof that a rather unremarkable story and screenplay can be transformed into something unwaveringly engrossing and breathtakingly beautiful if the right person is in the director's chair.

I've always admired Alfonso Cuaròn as a filmmaker (Children Of Men and Gravity are just two examples of his excellent work), and his auteurism blossoms even further with this film, as he takes over cinematography duties, in addition to directing, writing and editing the project.

The story itself is rather basic, focusing on a family in the Roma district of Mexico City during the early 1970's, seen through the eyes of the servant girl who lives with them as a cleaner and nanny to the children.  Being a fan of Cuarón's previous work, it was quite obvious to me that this was a biographical story, as certain scenes in the film are from his own childhood, shaping his character and inspiring his filmmaking achievements.

Many are calling Roma a modern masterpiece, and from a filmmaking perspective it's very difficult to disagree; the cinematography is astonishing, every single performance is convincing, the direction is flawless and even the sound design deserves a mention for completely enveloping you, placing you right into the moments being depicted on screen.

A certainty for Best Picture come awards season, it only missed out as a nominee at the Golden Globes because foreign language films aren't eligible.

My only irritation is that the film is being distributed by Netflix, and was only given a very small theatrical release to make it eligible for awards, so if you've missed it, it can only now be seen on the streaming service, and not on the big screen where it absolutely deserves to be experienced.


Yalitza Aparacio in Roma
Yalitza Aparacio in Roma