Sure, you could stay at home at watch Alfonso Cuaron’s virtual shoo-in for a Best Picture nomination on Netflix—and if you miss its brief run at Ciné, I highly recommend you do. Hopefully, as many of you as possible availed yourself of the opportunity to witness Cuaron’s award-winning monochromatic cinematography on the big screen.
Not that Roma’s excellence is so visually one-dimensional. The Academy Award winning filmmaker of Y Tu Mamá También, Children of Men and Gravity—for which he won Best Director—offers audiences his most personal film yet: a slice of his young, fairly affluent life in Mexico City. Rather than a run-of-the-mill coming-of-age tale, Cuaron tenders Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), the cinematic proxy for his beloved nanny, Libo, as our protagonist.
The film begins meanderingly enough, yet finds narrative focus in the disparate events of life’s daily chaos. Cuaron doles out dramatic nuggets over its 134 minutes that are jaw-droppingly unexpected, sad and uplifting. I selected Roma to top my AFCC ballot of the 10 best films of 2018 at the beginning of December. How often I have thought of its subtle dramatic pleasures since then only offers proof I made the right choice.