Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018): Mexico | USA

Reviewed by Josh Velazquez. Viewed at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

It’s no surprise this movie is nominated for ten academy awards. Yes you read that right, ten academy awards. Roma is a film that will be talked about for decades.

Roma is a story about a maid and the family who she works for. This family consist of three young boys and a little girl, mom and dad. This maid, Cleo, who is portrayed by Yalitza Aparicio, is very close to the children, as she raises them as her own. Cleo prepares them food, tucks them in at night, and wakes them up with a song in the morning. Throughout the movie we follow Cleo throughout her life. We see how hard life is for a Mexican maid, and the struggles many of us can relate to.

This movie does a beautiful job showing the raw relationships these characters have. That’s something that makes this movie what it is. It shows true events and it all seems real. You live in this movie, you feel what is going on. Though there is no color, the black and white was a perfect way to substitute the absent color for the feelings. Without the color you could focus more on the feelings the actors portrayed, not the feeling the colors gave. You felt connected to it. You’re the maid making breakfast, cleaning the floors, they’re your kids you’re raising.

Roma deserves the praise it’s getting. All the actors did an amazing job. Though it was Yalitza Aparicio first acting job ever, you wouldn’t have been able to tell. It was all so natural. Wherever this movie goes from here, I hope people realize what it has done not only for Mexican movies but for all foreign films. Hope to see more true and beautiful stories like this in the future.

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