Roma (2018)

roma-movie-review-poster-2018Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 135 Minutes

Main Cast: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta, Marco Graf, Daniela Demesa, Nancy García García, Verónica García, Jorge Antonio Guerrero

Plot: Roma is the story of a young maid working for a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s.

My Thoughts: Until the night of the BAFTAs I’d kind of ignored Roma completely. I didn’t know anything about it other than it was black and white, on Netflix, not in the English language and had a lot of award nominations. Naively I had no idea it stood a chance of taking home Best Picture that night, and yet now I know that it’ll most likely be taking the Oscar as well. I always try and watch at least all Best Picture nominees anyway, so I finally relented and gave Roma a go.

I didn’t expect to like it, but I feel very conflicted about it now. On one hand, it felt about 3 hours long and was dull. On the other, it had some stand out emotionally charged moments that will stay with me for years. It’s a difficult one to judge! Although the movie’s focus is on the maid, Cleo, there’s also a lot of limelight for the woman of the household and the struggles that she goes through.

My biggest problem is that I’m a bit of a child sometimes. The first half of Roma is quite boring, and so I started focusing on things that probably shouldn’t matter. Like I’m sorry – you’re great and all Cleo, but clean up that dog poo! Crickey – you can’t have that much work to do, there are 2 maids for this household. On that thought – why does this family even have a dog? I don’t think he’s ever let inside. I also wanted to know more about that kid who seems to remember his past life – can we have a movie about him instead?

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It got better though, and although it’s a movie I doubt I’ll ever feel inclined to watch again – I did enjoy it. I still don’t think it’s Best Picture material, but I’ve definitely watched worse movies in that category before.

Best Bit: I’d seen snippets of it already during the BAFTAs, but the beach scene is by far the best. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was ugly crying during Cleo’s admission. The hospital scene was really difficult to watch.

Worst Bit: Fermin’s…military…dance…thing. I did not sign up for any of this. Fermin – you’re gross in every sense of the word!

Fun Trivia: As of 2018, the real Cleo, Liboria Rodríguez (Libo), is still alive and still part of Alfonso Cuarón’s family, or Alfonso Cuarón’s family is still part of Libo’s life. She has made cameos or brief appearances in several of his previous films, including Y Tu Mamá También (2001) in a scene where she brings Diego Luna a sandwich.

My Rating: 3 and a half wing mirrors – I think that family could do with keeping a few spare!

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19 thoughts on “Roma (2018)

  1. Nice review, the best way to describe this one for me was, ‘this film will be used for film studies for years’ the technical aspects are brilliant, but the story isn’t going to appeal to the commercial audience

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  2. Gosh, I adored that past life kid! Would definitely go see that movie. 🙂 I have yet to see Bohemian and Green Book, but so far this is my best picture front runner. I felt the feels despite the artsy-ness. Haha.

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  3. I agree! Alfonso Cuarón is doubtlessly a master filmmaker with brilliant vision. But while Roma has its moments, I thought it was overall one of his weaker films, especially in terms of pacing.

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  4. I was gonna force myself to watch it but then I heard Netflix spent 20 million on this thing’s Oscar campaign. This is very close to actually buying an Oscar since they just shove that movie in everyone’s faces. I’m gonna pass on this, it looks unappealing on every level to me

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  5. Loved your review and I agree with most of it. I was conflicted about the movie, too, for the same reasons. It felt boring and without emotion for most part, especially from Cleo, but when you get to the end and the beach scene happens….it hits you. Still, I’m not sure if it’s Best Picture worthy, for me the winner for this category has to be a bit commercial, too, in order to be universally loved. This movie was not enjoyed by almost everyone

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  6. Good, honest review. Yeah, I doubt I’ll ever rewatch Roma again either. A quite dull, self-indulgent and slow-paced film so I’m kind of surprised it’s getting so much attention as the film is not for everyone. Then again, Alfonso Cuarón (and the Mexican filmmakers) have been oscar darlings the last 10 years so maybe I should expert the love from the Academy

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