Roma ★★½

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

This review may contain spoilers.

The entire set up (2/3 of the film) are stock and underdeveloped. What even is there to the primary storyline of the film, Cleo's pregnancy, before she loses it? Until she spells it out at the very end there's absolutely no sense of how she feels about her pregnancy. There's no sharp class angle about anxiety in providing for the child, the absentee father stuff has zero texture, and overall I can't tell for shit what the stakes or the drama was supposed to be at all. Was there ever a doubt about her bond with the rich kids which is ultimately just reinforced? You know what might've helped is a damn close up once in a while Mr. Long Take Fancy Pants.

Speaking of, there's very little added formally by Cuaron to this. In fact the efforts to emotionally abstract Cleo just turn her into an inert, symbolic husk. There's meant to be all this texture of upper class celebration's byzantine cacophony of freedom but Cuaron's failure to load Cleo with any sense of character means she is an insufficient in her role as an internal ambient challenge to these sprawling and indulgent shots of excess. All so the class divide the film presents with no commentary can be "healed" with no effort by the end. Dramatically incompetent and rather disgusting too.

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