Director Alfonso Cuarón’s recent (and excellent) films were all fantasy and science fiction films (“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Children of Men” and “Gravity”), but with “Roma,” he returns to the realist mode of his breakthrough “Y Tu Mamá También.”
Here, Cuarón tells the story of his childhood in Mexico City — but through the eyes of Cleo (played by Yalitza Aparicio), based on the real maid who played a crucial role in raising Cuarón and his siblings. It’s a largely plotless film, particularly in its the first half, but it’s beautifully shot in black-and-white, capturing the rhythms and subtle power dynamics of everyday life in this family.
To discuss “Roma,” we’re joined by Brian Heater, who said he was hard-pressed to think of a better movie released this year. We had a few reservations — about the film’s pace, about some of the plotting and about whether Cleo is depicted as a fully three-dimensional person — but none of us denied that Cuarón has staged scenes here that are suspenseful as anything in “Gravity.” And as the credits rolled, at least one of your hosts was in tears.
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