Roma is a visual piece of art that has already made a big impact this award season by picking up Best Picture at the BAFTA’s, but is it worth the praise?
The film shows the intimate and tragic life of Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) a maid who is an essential part of the family she works for. The films structure is a refreshing contribution to cinema, a movie that starts slow but unfolds to emotional heights. It is also a movie bleeding with cinematography talent, giving the viewer a real feel for the aesthetic of Mexico. A black and white Netflix film that represents why the online streaming service is ahead of the production-pack.
I admit, writing this review is difficult. This is purely due to the fact that this movie is such an aesthetic masterpiece, and one of general film making, that it must be viewed to understand. This movie is an experience. An experience of the life of Cleo. This is a life of tragedy. One of the oldest forms of storytelling that has been a method of captivating spectators that is still very much with us today. Cleo is a maid that experiences the enthralling emotions of pregnancy, abandonment, violence, political uncertainty and death.
Set in 1970, the family she lives with is going through turbulent times personally, but this is only the backdrop to emotional events that occur in these real-life inspired events. Cleo is almost the lifeline to this family but the tragic circumstances that life can bestow on an individual happen to Cleo, making this an intense but visually satisfying watch. The film deals with the issues surrounding race and class that film director Alfonso Cuaron wanted to elaborate and address in his piece of art.
Already an Oscar-winning director with Gravity, Cuaron has set out a stall for an Oscar-bait film, which could possibly be his second feature win at the American Academy. This is Yalitza Aparicicio first feature film ever and it is almost shocking how natural she is. The deeper I think about her performance and the overall production of the movie, the more I appreciate the intricate details of the films construction.
This movie is nominated for ten awards and it is perfectly justified, this movie is great film making.
By James Evans