Roma ★★★★★

So a couple weeks ago, me and my family began watching this film at home, on Netflix. We got around 30 minutes in and we were then interrupted by something and hadn’t finished it. We were definitely enjoying it, but I wouldn’t say any of us were quite in love with it. Fast-forward to last night, where we had just got out of a showing of Shoplifters at the TIFF Lightbox (great film!). We had made plans to finish Roma when we got home, but then noticed that Roma was being played in 70mm. I have heard countless times that Roma absolutely needs to be experienced on the big screen, so we decided that we would get dinner, and then return to the Lightbox for the 70mm screening of Roma.

To put it simply, Roma is genuinely one of the most technically astonishing films ever made. If you know me, you know that this is reason enough for a high rating. However, Roma isn’t merely an exercise in impressive technical display; it also manages to be a deeply moving and personal story - one that brought me to tears numerous times. I really don’t want to rub in how blessed I was to have gotten the chance to see this in 70mm, but I genuinely don’t think I would have responded to the film the way I have if I viewed it in any other way. I have watched plenty of films on my laptop with rather poor streams that I have been able to give high ratings too, of course, but Roma is different, I guess. So yes, I would say the general consensus is correct - if you can, experience this on the biggest screen possible, and just as (if not more) importantly, with the best sound possible.

Truth be told, Roma is probably the best new release I have seen in 3 years. Roma is a striking film. Tonally, it is soothing and anxiety-provoking at the same time. The performances are all amazing, specifically from the lead, played by Yalitza Aparicio. Like everyone in the cast, her performance felt so authentic and genuine. She was so convincing, which made it incredibly easy to become emotionally invested in her character and her struggles. She is a character that is easy to sympathize with and connect to, which is impressive as the film almost never relies on close ups, as I think Cuaron knew how powerful this woman was.

As I said, Roma is one of the most technically astonishing films ever made. The cinematography and choreography are mind-boggling. I have never seen shots that are as impressive or immersive as the shots in Roma. The camera movement, framing, and lighting in each shot were nothing short of perfectly executed. One moment that stuck out particularly was the beach scene, which was probably the highlight of the film. An absolute masterpiece of a scene, in terms of cinematography, sound, and emotionally it just hit me harder than anything I had seen this year.

Roma is stressful, calming, upsetting, beautiful. It is cinematically extraordinary, while managing to be so authentic and intimate at the same time. Gah. Despite all I have already said, I am truly at a loss for words. Nothing I have been writing is doing this film the proper justice, in my opinion. To spare myself from the burden of attempting to do justice to a film like this, I am just going to end it here. I absolutely adored this film. I am completely obsessed with what it pulled off technically, and I can’t remember the last time I have been so touched by a film. Bravo to everyone who was a part of this. This is a masterpiece and will be talked about and adored for years to come. I know I am hyping this thing up like crazy, but I truly can’t recall the last time cinema has blown me away like this, and I feel that it absolutely deserves my huge praise and acclaim.

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