Matt Koske’s review published on Letterboxd:
#CIFF Screening #1
Oh my lanta. What a staggering amount of pristine work composed by Alfonso Cuaron here, goodness gracious, man. Wow. The first shot and the last shot, both reflect one another in more ways than one, are my favorites in the whole picture, and in all of cinema this year.
Cleo plays a hard working servant for a middle-class family with 4 young children. Never a moment is she off her feet or relaxing, even a few stretches before bed after strenuous busy work for over half the day. She’s played by Yalitza Aparicio, a debut acting performance, who’s so incredibly light on her feet and tough on her soul (she even mentioned that during the casting process, she thought she was getting schemed into sex trafficking because her villiage never has casting calls) and it’s perfectly juxtaposed to the ever-developing story of hers that it makes for one dearly moving piece.
Watching this (in the biggest, sold-out theater of the festival) you feel simply adrift in Mexico City circa 1970. Not only did I watch this, I lived it. I was completely taken away by numerous tracking shots and slow pans throughout the middle-class home that we spend quite a bit of time in. This will ruin you. It will make you smile. But most of all, it will be apart of you just as much as Cuaron makes you apart of it.