Issac’s review published on Letterboxd:
Wow! Alfonso Cuaron, what did you do to me? What's crazy is that this film reminded me so much of my grandma.
Now bear with me with this story.. My grandma moved here to the U.S with my mom back then (from Mexico). She was literally hired to wash and iron clothes for this upscale family.
As a child, I remember going inside that house every time to let her know we're here to pick her up, so she'll let her boss (this white lady of the house) know that she had spare time so she did all this extra work like clean the house, wash the dishes, mop the floor and I remember the lady not paying attention.
Not only that but my grandma would come home to her husband (who is my mom's step dad) who happens to be this dumb drunk guy that didn't do poop and was too lazy to even pick up or drop off my grandma at work. I dont know why she was with that man honestly, but that's besides the point.
Anway.. So my grandma worked for that lady for at least 10 years, while working at other houses at the same time (that i can remember at least) and I don't recall that lady even coming to my grandma's funeral (which btw was at night time and that lady only worked during the day). Of course She didnt have to come but why not show any respect, right?
Now what does this have to do with Roma? Well like Cleo, my grandma went through so much. Through mean people who didn't appreciate her, probably because she was brown or because she was a woman. She went through all that and still kept moving forward and still worked harder.
It's a sad realistic thing but Alfonso Cuaron did such a phenomenal job with this film. He captured moments that were real to him and to his actual life and just so happen to be real to me in a way.
Its a great reminder that there's so many hardworking women out there. Women from latin descent that are strong like my grandma and like Cleo. Yet there's people like those kids in the movie, people like us; us smaller people that do appreciate them and love them and I honestly believe that's a huge contributing factor as to why my grandma still worked there just like why Cleo still worked for that family. For the people they loved. Love just added to their drive and to me, that's beautiful.
Cuaron could've made this movie from his point of view but made it about his maid from her point of view, everything viewed from her eyes and that's what makes this story so thrilling and so captivating.
He was able to get this small part from his life and create such a scary realistic masterpiece. And thanks to the great first time acting of Yalitza Aparicio, we were able to see Cleo go through her journey filled with pain, heartache, care, and love.
I empathized for Cleo just like I empathize for my grandma, my mom, and my girlfriend. All who have gone through so much poop, all happen to be Mexican, and all who are literally the strongest people I've ever known. (My dad's amazing too but I gotta give this one to my mama)
Now just because this movie hit a soft spot for me on a relatable note doesn't mean that this movie isn't amazing as a film itself because it really is. I've seen a few great great GREAT movies in 2018 but Roma sure takes the cake.
I hope this movie just doesn't win Best Foreign Film but Best Picture, Best Director, and of course acting nominations for the wonderful cast.
Sorry I rambled on for a good while but this just seemed important to me. Thank you if any of y'all actually read this all the way through!