Ryster’s review published on Letterboxd:
Saying that I was not prepared for this is an understatement. Even while watching Roma, I was not prepared for the sheer beauty on show or the tender emotion bleeding through its story of life. The praise is not wrong. This is without a doubt a masterpiece by Alfonso Cuarón, and one of the best films of 2018.
Simply put, this is a two hour epic of tragedy, love and family. It’s plot isn’t so much as revolved around anything in particular, rather living and breathing real life. Based on Cuarón’s own childhood memories in Mexico, Roma hits you like a ton of bricks at times but for the most part feels mundane. Like there’s no plot. And I can’t describe how it’s so perfect. It just undoubtedly is! Following the character of Cleo around, sharing her pain and experiencing her life. It was only after the film was finished that I became speechless. I just wish I could’ve saw this on a cinema screen.
Shot in black and white, the film looks absolutely beautiful. In fact, it’s the most beautiful film of the year. Choosing to stage scenes through long and steady takes, every single frame is expertly crafted. Quite honestly, it’s the best cinematography I’ve seen all year! Also worth praising is the sound of the film. One of the reasons why I wish I saw it in the cinema! The scope and range of sound here is fantastic. One only has to watch the forest burning scene or the beach scene to get the brilliant impact that comes with precise and exquisite sound design. Everything in Cuarón’s film leads it to being a fully fledged technical marvel.
Perfectly directed, expertly acted and tenderly written. Roma is so emotionally powered that I still can’t stop thinking about it. Seeing all the five star reviews I was a little skeptical myself (could it really be that good?), but it absolutely is! This is a masterpiece!