Roma ★★★★★

This is a rare film. It is a film that demands the viewer's utmost, unguarded attention, but not in a navel-gazing or cerebral manner. Rather, it seeks it in an empathetic, compassionate, magnanimous manner. It is a film built on and powered by empathy. It is a film that brings us into a specific time and place and situation and lets us bask in it without ever trying too hard to persuade us of something, other than to feel something. Its message is clear, but not squeaky clean, and more often than not it can't be summed up in words, much like the most powerful experiences in life. The cinematography is breathtaking and the sound is cutting edge in its level of immersive-ness (for my second time around, saw it at TIFF Bell Lightbox in 4k resolution and Dolby Atmos surround sound). It has the scope of a mega-million dollar budget Hollywood epic but applied to a humble family drama. Its main character is a saint-like figure of acceptance and perseverance in the face of a world that often seems like it's solely working to try and degrade and diminish her very existence. This is a film that reminds me of why cinema and art in general is such an important part of life- because it reproduces and honours aspects of life in all its multifaceted shades; at turns awe-inspiring, humbling, overwhelming, chaotic, tragic, heartwarming, invigorating. In other words, this is a masterpiece, through and through.

Gilad liked this review