Roma

I was listening to the bald move deliberations and at one point they mentioned how they may ramp up coverage of Netflix movies because they are so accessible. One such movie in the last year was Roma, which was my favorite movie of 2018 by a lightyear and which also got 10 Oscar noms. Everything Cuaron does is spectacular, but this one was probably the one that emotionally devastated me the most. It's obviously incredibly well directed and there are innumerable breathtaking shots, but I think the performance from (first-time actor!) Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo is what really makes this movie transcendent. She is so unassuming and simultaneously so charismatic and I don't think I have been this invested in a character's plight in years. I know some people may find the first hour pretentious or overly self-indulgent, but I thought this was an incredible movie second only to Children of Men in Cuaron's career. Any chance we'll hear about it on the Bald Movies feed?
ElisaDaveyMacMurderbearNoel

Comments

  • DaveyMacDaveyMac Tokyo
    edited February 4
    I just watched Roma over the weekend and I absolutely loved it. And the longer it sits with me the more appreciate it. I wish I’d been able to see it in 70mm on the big screen. It’s just so beautiful. And the craftsmanship on display is amazing. And yeah the performances are so good. I got quite emotional toward the end. 

    It’s also incredible how it’s both epic and small at the same time.

    Aspects of it actually remind me of some of what he was doing in Y Tu Mama Tambien.

    I’d highly recommend reading Guillermo Del Toro’s Roma Twitter thread. Spoilers abound though so I’d watch first before reading. https://twitter.com/realgdt/status/1084701184110153729?s=21
    ElisaMurderbearNoelmajjam0770
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    Yes, Roma was incredible and I hate that I only watched it in my house and not on a giant movie screen. I have been on Cuaron's jock ever since I saw Children of Men. And Gravity is probably the only movie I've ever seen in 3D that felt wholly necessary to the experience.

    Roma is a beautiful, quiet, slow, reflective piece of art that should be seen by everyone. The way he makes even some of the most mundane stuff look and sound interesting is just a testament to the man's talent. The camera movements and framing of the shots are just masterful.

    I remember hearing about this on a movie podcast and the person was telling everyone that they need to see this in the theater. 70mm or Imax if possible. But if you HAVE to see it at home on Netflix, treat it like you are in the cinema. Get the lighting right. Make sure the surround sound is on. Don't watch it with your phone in your hand. And I couldn't agree more. It's beautiful and I really hope the guys give it a chance eventually.
    NoelKate23DaveyMacmajjam0770ElisaBrooklynMD
  • edited February 22
    Bumping this to the top since the guys just covered it. I thought it was a fair review, and I can definitely see why this movie is not for everyone. Personally I think this is one of the great achievements by a single person in the history of movies. Cuaron has truly cemented himself as a master of film, serving as the writer, director, cinematographer, and editor of Roma, all at the absolute highest quality. Cleo and Senora Sofia were both such powerful characters, and I was totally engrossed in their struggles and the strength they showed to get through them. I was full on sobbing during the beautiful scene on the beach where they are huddled together as a family. 

    The guys were talking about the reasons for filming in black and white, and whether it served a purpose. Personally I think it was absolutely necessary to let the sound design and mixing take center stage throughout most of the movie. If you were not able to watch this movie with surround sound, then you owe it to yourself to do so at some point; I've never heard anything like it. Mexico City came to life in my living room. I am disappointed I wasn't able to see this in Dolby Atmos, and I promised myself I won't watch it again until I have Atmos set up in my home theater. I desperately hope Netflix has a Blu-Ray release of this movie, or lets someone like Criterion Collection make a release, because I can only imagine how incredible this movie sounds without the limitations of streaming. 
    DaveyMac
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    I also think these are Cuaron’s childhood memories and so he is thinking back nostalgically in black and white. In fact he is the youngest son. 

    FYI everyone is Mexican in the movie. The rich are just more Spanish/European looking, whereas the help are more indigenous looking and reflect the people who come to the US for a better life.   Cuaron’s movie is subtlety also about politics, race, male toxicity and classism. 
    groovydooleyNoelDaveyMac
  • edited February 22
    Elisa said:
    I also think these are Cuaron’s childhood memories and so he is thinking back nostalgically in black and white. In fact he is the youngest son. 

    FYI everyone is Mexican in the movie. The rich are just more Spanish/European looking, whereas the help are more indigenous looking and reflect the people who come to the US for a better life.   Cuaron’s movie is subtlety also about politics, race, male toxicity and classism. 
    And he was specifically spending time in the first half paying attention to Cleo.  He said that he probably didn't think about her much at the time when he was a child.  I really liked the film. 
    Elisa
  • In the podcast Jim and A.Ron spoke about being able to do without the first 90 minutes but liking very much the 3 pivotal and powerful scenes...I absolutely needed that time and that total immersion in Cleo's existence, her day to day devoted to someone else's children punctuated by a selfish man who sweeps her off her feet.
    If I hadn't had that total immersion I doubt each later crisis and tragedy would have affected me as much. Like a lobster on the stove. 

    If it were filmed in color I imagine it would have been Very colorful and maybe too lively and distracting.

    DaveyMacElisa
  • I grew up in Guatemala in the late 70s/early 80s with live in maids from indigenous communities.   It is great to see a story that centers on their experience and tries to capture all the nuances of the relationships between them and the families that employ them.   I really appreciated their use of their indigenous language and their awkwardness in speaking Spanish, trying to figure out what was going on with their employers, and the blurred lines between family/employee.   One of the scenes that struck a cord with me was the one where they are all watching tv and it feels like they are all a family, yet in the middle of the show someone asks her to go bring something from the kitchen (iceceam?).  Yet, at the same time while she is bringing things back to them be told "hurry, you're going to miss the good part."   The relationship turns from "we are all a family watching something together" to "hey, employee go get me something."   Really well captured.
    EMAW42DaveyMacElisaKate23A_Ron_HubbardMichelleNoel
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Glad you guys aren't getting the pitch forks out, haha. I definitely see why people completely loved the film, and you know, watching the first 90 minutes at 730am in my case... maybe not the best showcase for that slow and absorbing of a film. Them are the scheduling breaks sometime. It was kind of just on the edge of my tolerance. But when the riot exploded in Mexico City, from that point forward I was fully engaged. The sound design in that scene was amazing, and I'm grateful Sonos gifted us a kick-ass sound system. The way the sound of the crowd changed right as the bullets started flying was the audio equivalent of seeing the sky turn that sickly green right before a tornado. I hope I never have to hear that in real life.
    MichelleAussieGreg
  • The main problems I had with this were the quickly spinning cameras in the house early on (now I know why I've never seen that technique before), and the dog poop. Cut those parts and it's a masterpiece.
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    I wanted to get on here real quick to say I think this movie is just terrible. But I voted for it on my guessing ballot because you know.
    gguenot
  • Is this movie as boring as the previews make it seem? People keep talking it up but I can’t tell if they are talking it up in an artsy film making kind of way or if it is an entertaining movie. 
    I went to watch it but the preview turned me
    off.
  • sbench2 said:
    Is this movie as boring as the previews make it seem? People keep talking it up but I can’t tell if they are talking it up in an artsy film making kind of way or if it is an entertaining movie. 
    I went to watch it but the preview turned me
    off.
    It's not entertaining, it's tragic. It's about the daily life of a maid in Mexico. It must be good because this is my most hated genre of movie and I was shooketh.
    Elisa
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    sbench2 said:
    Is this movie as boring as the previews make it seem? People keep talking it up but I can’t tell if they are talking it up in an artsy film making kind of way or if it is an entertaining movie. 
    I went to watch it but the preview turned me
    off.
    The first two thirds of the movie are a slog unless you tend to like artsy fartsy types of film. It's like a very, very hoppy IPA. If you're drinking Bud and jump off the hop deep end you'll think people into IPAs are crazy. Roma is pretty hoppy.
    sbench2Noel
  • sbench2 - imo is a very good movie but definitely a little different than normal. The negatives are it is slow paced and not very narratively driven. It walks a fine line of being pretentiously artsy farts vs symbolic and meaningful. But if you sit and watch it and take it in, it delivers a couple solid emotional gut punches and really seems to recreate the feel of this time in Mexico from Cuaron’s experience without verbally explaining it a lot.  It is very well crafted. I am glad I watched but don’t think it will be one I rewatch over and over. 
    sbench2Elisa
  • MichelleMichelle California
    edited February 25
    It's doing well at tonight's Oscars, a great example of the saying 'all art is subjective'.

    Edit: Cuaron just won Best Director.
  • akiaki
    edited March 1
    Another minor observation that I forgot to mention was the relationship of the families/maids/dogs.  Dogs are treated a bit more like they are part of the family than the maids.   Maids are asked to take care of dogs (feeding them, cleaning them, and cleaning their poop).   There are probably more pictures of people with their dogs than people with their live in maids.  Yet some of these live in maids develop a bond with their employers and may even forgo getting married and having kids of their own.   A couple of years ago, I visited Guatemala and was surprised to find one of my old neighbors live in maid still living with them (now in her 70s I assume).   Never married, never had kids.   I get the feeling that she thinks of my friend as his family as her family, yet still live in a small room tucked behind the back yard and wakes up early to serve her employers...   and clean dog poop.
    Kate23ElisaNoelDaveyMac
  • I have not figured out what the not cleaning of the dog poop signified.  The only time they cleaned the poop was when the doctor/husband/father made a big deal about it.  
    Elisa
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    I have not figured out what the not cleaning of the dog poop signified.  The only time they cleaned the poop was when the doctor/husband/father made a big deal about it.  
    I saw it as a signifier of just how much Cleo meant to the family, that she wasn't actually the best maid, and didn't always listen to or adhere to their direction straight away, but that the emotional connection she had with the kids and the mother was a bigger reason she was kept around than the quality of her house work.
    EMAW42telephoneofmadness
  • This movie would definitely win the award for Most Artistically Filmed Dog Poop.
  • Teresa from ConcordTeresa from Concord Concord, California
    Every time I read a review the movie moves down my watch list. I guess I’ll get to it eventually. 
Sign In or Register to comment.