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#TIFF18 Review: Roma

September 17, 2018

By John Corrado

★★★★ (out of 4)

A black and white homage to the Mexico of his youth and the women who raised him, Alfonso Caurón’s Roma is a beautiful and haunting work of art that unfolds through the eyes of Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young housekeeper and nanny working for a family in Mexico City in the 1970s.

The film unfolds with a gripping neorealist quality, putting the focus on feeling and emotion rather than story, showing personal moments in the life of this family that happen against the backdrop of profound social changes in Mexico at the time. Many of the sequences unfold in long takes, with the camera locked in a wide master shot, slowly panning over the frame to follow the action. These beautifully composed images are packed with little details that are able to reveal so much about the characters and this world, giving us the feeling of looking at moving photographs taken right out of time.

With Caurón in full command of his craft, acting as both editor and cinematographer as well, Roma fully immerses us in this world for a couple of hours through its mix of gorgeous imagery and naturalistic performances, with newcomer Yalitza Aparicio delivering one of the most powerful and authentic turns of the year. The film is going to be available on Netflix in December, but it’s worth seeing at least once on the big screen if you get the chance.

Yalitza Aparicio in Roma

Public Screenings:

Monday, September 10th – 5:30 PM at Princess of Wales Theatre

Tuesday, September 11th – 8:45 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Wednesday, September 12th – 12:00 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Thursday, September 13th – 11:30 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Friday, September 14th – 9:15 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Saturday, September 15th – 8:45 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Sunday, September 16th – 2:45 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox

The 2018 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6th to 16th.

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