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Finally had a chance to watch Roma on Netflix today and I have to say that it was extremely powerful and emotionally affecting.

I have never been a big fan of reading my movies, so I have avoided other foreign language films, but if they are all the quality of this movie, maybe I need to rethink that.

I will admit that I had some difficulty following the story early, partially with the language barrier and partially with the fact that I was streaming the film at home and there were plenty of distractions around me.

However, once the story was well involved, I was fully engaged.

The performance of Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo was heart-wrenching and powerful.  She certainly will deserve the Oscar attention that she is going to receive.  There were two or three moments in the movie that felt like I had been punched in the gut and that I had to hold my breath to make it through.

This is probably the biggest criticism I have of Roma is that there are some moments that are just tremendously emotional, but these moments are connected together with too many unremarkable scenes.  I believe the idea was to show the family life of a typical family but there are too many moments that do not catch my attention.  So it is like both ends of the spectrum.

The film itself is a beautifully designed and shot masterpiece.  The black and white it stunning and the cinematography is masterful.  Director Alfonso Cuarón shows his remarkable skills in putting together the technical aspects of the movie.  It is a piece of art.  Word indicates that this is a personal story for Cuarón who created a film that details much of his own story as a youth in Mexico and the life of his mother.

Roma is a wonderful movie that may have a difficult time with audiences that do not want to take that leap of a foreign language film.  The scenes that really hit, hit amazingly hard, but there are others that seem mundane.  That actually may be the idea behind it, but I think it may end up being a drawback.

4 stars


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