Critic Consensus: Roma finds writer-director Alfonso Cuarón in complete, enthralling command of his visual craft - and telling the most powerfully personal story of his career.
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Critic Reviews for Roma
Alfonso Cuaron's new film, "Roma," gives you so much to see in each new vignette, in every individual composition, in fact, that a second viewing becomes a pleasurable necessity rather than a filmgoing luxury.
Alive in a way that few movies are, "Roma" is a sumptuous piece of filmmaking, a gorgeous look at life on a grand scale told through the prism of one family.
Narratively, not a lot happens during the opening 60-70 minutes, but Cuaron is marinating us so that later events have an uncommonly strong impact.
Cuarón's film is quotidian and extraordinary at the same time. It is about change and how we adapt and grow. It is about love and sometimes the lack of it. It is a rapturous magnum opus, that is heartbreaking, devastating, and life affirming all at once.
It is the clarity of Cuarón's eye, and the sea-like sway of his remembrance, that compel you to trust the tale he tells.
Audience Reviews for Roma
At first it seems like Cuarón is making a dispassionate historical examination, but that is because he is slowly letting you into the character's space. By the midway point you are completely invested in Cleo and this family. Also, typical for Cuarón, each shot is monumentally rich in imagery.
Roma is what one would call a hard sell. Despite being writer/director Alfonso CuarÃ³n's follow-up to his Oscar-winning Gravity (CuarÃ³n won Best Director for this effort) it couldn't be more different and because of this, more daring. It's daring based simply on the fact it is a two-hour personal opus, shot in black and white, and featuring English subtitles. In going ahead and acknowledging the elephant in the room, it's not difficult to see why the production companies who gave CuarÃ³n $15 million to make the project also decided to go with Netflix as their distributor. And while, based on nothing more than its pristine aesthetic, CuarÃ³n's most personal film to date certainly deserves to be seen on the big screen, given the content of the film and the types of people whose lives Roma explores it also makes perfect sense that the film be released to audiences in the most accessible way possible. It is a fine line to walk and while, as someone who loves going to the cinema, will always believe seeing a movie in the theater is the best way to see a movie it's hard to argue that the majority of mainstream audiences don't see many a films until years after they've been released and on their own televisions or other devices. Is it a shame some viewers will only experience the beauty of CuarÃ³n's cinematography (yes, he serves as his own cinematographer here too) on their smart phones? Of course, but by making a film like Roma available to those who aren't within driving distance of a theater, but have a subscription to Netflix allows for the film to connect with what CuarÃ³n is illustrating as well as connect with a bigger, more diverse audience than it likely would have if limited to a traditional theatrical and home video release. The key word here though, is illustrate. Roma doesn't so much as tell a specific story or drive home a certain narrative as much as it does illustrate a contemplative yet precisely executed observation of a year in the life of this upper-class family in Mexico City in the early seventies and more pointedly, on that of the family maid, Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio, making her acting debut). read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com
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