Roma

Roma ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Alfonso Cuarón played a large role with my falling in love with cinema with 2006’s Children of Men. While I haven’t enjoyed anything else he’s done to that degree since seeing it, after viewing Roma, I would be hard pressed to say that he has fallen short of the bar I hold for him. This semi-autobiographical piece is different. While it still retains his signature style — if you love the long takes that he’s known for, you’re in for a massive treat, this is something different. 

First and foremost, I want to say that Yalitza Aparicio, who, to my understanding, isn’t actually an actress at all, blew me away. Her role as protagonist Cleo is one of the best roles I’ve seen in years, and the nomination for best actress in a lead role should be in the bag already. The entire cast plays their roles spectacularly, and they all convey emotions in a very particular way. The way they treat and interact with one another is a story unto itself. 

The sounds of Roma work like a grand-scale ASMR video. The attention to detail that’s here is truly second-to-none. Even the smallest noises carry through with power, and every scene is complemented by their presence. Alongside the sound, the choice to film in black and white was something to behold. When those long takes are happening, the grayscale adds to something that I can’t find a word for. One scene in particular, where a character is singing a song as a fire burns in the background with people rushing to put it out, just hit me. The same can be said for the delivery room scene. Without spoiling anything, it was hard not to be moved by that scene, front to back. 

All in all, I am extremely glad that Netflix decided to have this screen in cinemas. While it was odd to see the Netflix logo flash across the screen at the beginning, I feel this is a film one must, given they have the opportunity, see in theaters. I cannot sing the praises of Roma enough, and I am infinitely grateful that the Salt Lake Film Society brought this to Salt Lake City. I hope I have the chance to see this again in theaters. If not, I look forward to seeing this in the best picture category for the Oscars. 

5/5