Impressive Artistry and Realism
Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón has an excellent memory! And he definitely taps into it for Roma, a remarkable black-and-white movie about a year in the life of a family living in a middle class neighborhood in Mexico City back in the1970s. The Oscar-winning director (Gravity) used his own childhood experiences as a resource for this unique project. No wonder everything looks and sounds so realistic. Cuarón’s intriguing cinematography adds to the movie’s authenticity. But don’t be put off because there is no musical soundtrack. You are hearing the life sounds of people walking, water running, cars honking, dogs barking, guns shooting, etc. And this helps you feel like you are seeing the real thing, which makes it easy to fall in love with Cleo, the main character.
Actress Yalitza Aparicio portrays this indigenous domestic worker who also serves as a nanny to the three children in the family. She’s a hard worker and everyone appreciates her, especially the youngest son. In fact, it’s Cleo who holds the family together. While watching Cleo face almost unsurmountable problems – including the actions of her cowardly boyfriend, almost being shot while trying to buy a crib, going into labor during a violent protest demonstration, saving children’s lives, and more – we can’t help admiring her courage.
Filmed in glorious black and white,
Roma shimmers when in the light,
then shadow dances at day’s end.
But what did filmmaker intend?
A love letter to someone dear
from years gone by is what I hear.
And so we see a slice of life --
Mexico during time of strife.
Domestic worker named Cleo
cares for children and loves them so.
No Mary Poppins, not at all.
Like everyone else, she can fall.
Nineteen seventies seem so real.
We start to learn how they must feel.
Artistry and compassion reign
in this fine film of love and pain.
It’s also important to mention the impressive non-theatrical performances of every actor in Roma. The big question now involves whether or not this movie will receive any Oscar® nominations. We’ll find out on Tuesday, January 22, when the 91st Annual Academy Awards nominations are scheduled to be announced. The official Oscar® Awards Ceremony will be held on February 24, 2019. Fingers crossed.
(Available December 14 on Netflix and rated “R” for graphic nudity, some disturbing images, and language. Spanish dialogue with English subtitles.)
For more information about Roma, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.