Film Review: ‘Roma’ is a Celebration of Human Courage & Spirit

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CHICAGO – In one of the most arresting and beautiful films of the year, writer/director Alfonso Cuarón transports us back to 1970s Mexico City, to his childhood and his appreciation of memory. He also creates a human story around all the nostalgia, that all takes place in the neighborhood of “Roma.” Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

The film is connectively expressive, from its hard look at domestic breakdown, its moments of relatable life emotions and its scenes of street fighting/anarchy. It was set in a time of difficult attitude and change, and the characters reflect that evolution. But the centerpiece is a domestic maid named Cleo, who slaves away for an upper middle class couple while at the same time embedding herself into that family. The understanding that Cuarón – who is known for his dramas (‘Y Tú Mama Tambien,” “Children of Men”), fantasy (“A Little Princess,” “Harry Potter 3”) and Oscar recognized films (“Gravity”) – is interpreting his inner consciousness, and that conjures the same feeling as Frederico Fellini’s classic “8-1/2.”

The events of the film takes place in 1970 and ’71 in the Mexico City neighborhood of Roma, as Cleo (Yalitza Aparico) is a domestic maid in the home of Sofia (Marina de Tavira) and Antonio (Fernando Grediaga), plus their four young children. Sofia and Antonio’s marriage is on the skids, but the matriarch tries to hide it from the kids and the rest of the household.

Cleo has a burgeoning relationship with Fermin (Jorge Antonio Guerrero), and gets pregnant by him. He runs away after hearing the news, and refuses to acknowledge his role in the expectancy. Cleo brings the baby to term, and her water breaks while street violence is occurring. The circumstances of the birth will haunt Cleo and the family going forward.

“Roma” continues its limited release in Chicago on December 6th, and will be released on Netflix December 14th. Featuring Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Fernando Grediaga, Jorge Antonio Guerrero and Nancy Garcia Garcia. Written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Roma”

Yalitza Aparico as Cleo in ‘Roma’
Photo credit: Netflix

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Roma”

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