Roma

Roma ★★★★★

What can I say? Roma is a film which is able to be both deeply personal whilst capturing what it is to be human. Through the prism of an experience which is quite specific, Cuaron is able to perfectly capture the essence of our joys, our mundanities and our heartaches in a way that is totally ubiquitous to all of life.

His use of patient and drawn out camera pans increases the feeling of realism, that this a genuine life we're watching. Cuaron's first work as cinematographer is superb, as his patience in letting every sequence breathe left me in awe of both the coordination of every scene and the perfect deliberation of his camera placement. Not only is his Neorealist approach achieved through the camera, but it enters masterful territory through possibly the best use of positional sound design I've encountered in a theatre. At every moment the sound is committed to placing you within the world of the film, from the crowd dialogue which is engulfing, through to scenes where the protagonist is being addressed centre-frame and the dialogue is placed behind the viewer. I do think this was best experienced in the theatre, but it will be equally great with surround sound or headphone audio setups.

There's so much more than can be and will be said about the film, but I'll close by saying that I have such deep respect for Cuaron's decision to make a film like this after finding huge mainstream success with his previous films. This is a total win, as it's able to capture the velocity at which our lives eb and flow in instants, and the ways that the world and those around us are changed, or more realistically don't change. Seek this out however you can, it's so great that it is arriving on Netflix so soon.

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