Not very often, but sometimes a movie comes along which so profoundly moves you, that it drives the calmest of critics to find the highest mountaintop so they can shout their admiration for it. Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” is an intoxicating look at all which makes us human. Love, life, work, sorrow, and heritage dominate this narrative because they are what makes us who we are. “Roma” finds beauty in all of these moments and is a celebration of life. Movies like this don’t come along often but they certainly are the ones who win Oscars. Cuaron’s “Gravity” made him an award-winning director, “Roma” puts him in a class above the rest in 2018.
It’s important to note that Cuaron’s latest project amounts to a film ripped from the director’s memory. These images, select moments, and these emotions originate from his childhood. While the names have been slightly tweaked for storytelling, everything about “Roma” feels deeply personal. Cleo (played brilliantly by actress Yalitiza Aparicio) is a central figure in the life of middle-class family she works for. To call her a housekeeper would be to dismiss how instrumental she is in everyone’s lives. Their heartaches were her heartaches, and her triumphs were celebrated alongside them. Love was the thread which bound this tale tightly.
The sound and visual quality of the film is unmatched. Each image is deliberate, every sound placed with importance. “Roma” takes audiences into a culture which is likely foreign to them but the moments which unfold are extremely relatable. A film like this could go a long way towards bridging gaps of ignorance and enlightening the uninformed. While I didn’t have a “Cleo” in my life, but we’ve all had that one person who is like family to you and has a significant impact on your life. It’s their devotion which makes all the difference in the world.
It goes without saying that “Roma” is one of the top three movies of 2018. The direction, cinematography, and strong narrative will speak to audiences worldwide. If your town is lucky enough to have “Roma” playing on the screen then sprint to that theater ASAP. Otherwise, when “Roma” hits Netflix on December 14th, make a point and check it out.