Perfection. Absolute monochromatic perfection. Roma is a rarity. A drama that, for all intent and purpose, exudes minimal dramatic power. A contemporary feature that is riddled with simplistic dialogue and composed performances. But that is exactly why it works. It’s a “slice of life” depiction. A broad window into Cuarón’s personable childhood. It is fundamentally real.
Aparicio’s debut as a middle-class family’s housekeeper was nuanced, subtle and unpolished. Yet it supplied substantial authenticity to how real this story was. The agonising pain Cleo encounters throughout this yearly illustration of class, political, cultural and gender differences, weighed on my conscious because of how intimate this portrait of Mexico was. The crushingly emotional third act proves that (and yes, tears were produced yet again…).
You symbiotically become attached to these characters, not because of their gracious familial wholesomeness or illuminating personalities, but due to the tangible validity these individuals supply. It’s undoubtedly real, and Cuarón’s extraordinary ingenuity turns a seemingly fictitious strand of his childhood into a tapestry of reality.
There’s nothing else to add that wasn’t stated in the initial review of continuous superlatives (although a future essay could easily be produced…). Technically, narratively, emotionally and artistically perfect. It may not have won Best Picture, which was an absolute travesty, yet Libo’s legacy lives on. This is not for Cuarón. This is not for us. But for Libo…