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Sunday February 10, 2019 4:00pm
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RomaAcclaimed as a masterpiece, it’s the most personal project to date from Academy Award winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón - ROMA follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young domestic worker for a family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City. Delivering an artful love letter to the women who raised him, Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst political turmoil of the 1970s. This is Cuarón's first project since the groundbreaking Gravity in 2013.

Cast: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón
Genre: Drama   Language: Spanish
Runtime: 135 minutes
Rating: R (for graphic nudity, some disturbing images, and language)

Review

by Derek Winnert

Writer-director Alfonso Cuarón’s Mexican masterpiece Roma (2018) is a magnificent movie, brilliantly staged, and gloriously realised in gorgeous black and Romawhite scope images, with a warm and winning saga, highlighted by a couple of heart-stopping moments. Cuarón is also his own cinematographer. On this evidence, he could give up the day job of writer-director and be a magician director of photography.

It is a director’s film, but real acting is required too, and the two main roles are female, and Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira are superb as the maid Cleo and the house mother Sofia, both facing difficult, life-changing personal problems, with men, as it happens.

Cuarón’s story chronicles a tumultuous year in the life of a comfortable middle-class family in Mexico City in the early Seventies, a year and a life that he conjures up lavishly and magically. It is heartfelt, personal cinema, and real and relevant feeling, but the scale of some of the reconstructions is breathtaking.

Cleo manages to get herself pregnant by a man who cares more about warrior games than her, and Sofia’s doctor husband walks out on her for another woman, a fact she tries to cover up by lying to her nice kids.

RomaThe trip to the beach, the child delivery sequence in the hospital and scenes of the Mexican soldiers repressing a student protest are the unforgettable, tear-jerking highlights of a memorable movie. It is hard not to love every one of its 135 minutes.

It is nominated for three Golden Globes: Best Screenplay – Motion Picture, Best Director – Motion Picture and Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language.

Cuarón says 90 per cent of the film’s scenes are scenes taken from his memory and that 70 per cent of the furniture came from different family members. He names it the most essential movie of his career.

Roma is the neighbourhood where the film takes place, west of Mexico City’s historic centre. The film is dedicated to Libo, the family servant the central character is based on.

Trailer