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Movie Review: Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’

The Mexican director’s latest reflects the modern state of the human experience.

Duane Paul Murphy

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Mexican film director Alfonso Cuarón, the man behind films such as the blockbuster fantasy Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the bleak dystopian Children of Men, and the sci-fi thriller Gravity, has done it again with his latest masterpiece Roma. With 8 Critics’ Choice Awards nominations, 3 Golden Globes nominations, and an official submission to the 2019 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, this beautifully camera shot, edited, and written motion picture captures the heart, mind, and soul of the contemporary human condition from a modern past.

Set between 1970 and 1971 in the middle-class suburbs of Roma in Mexico, City, Mexico, the black and white movie follows the life and experience of an indigenous Mixtec housemaid named Cleo, played by debut Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio Martínez, who works for a family of a highly educated couple with three young children that would soon personally encounter infidelity and divorce.  While not working for the family at their own home, young Cleo faces her own challenges in her own personal life as she is pregnant with a man who abandons her because he cares more about becoming a martial arts fighter than a father. 

Throughout the entire film from the capital city’s hustle bustle to the country’s serene Pacific coastline and mountainous interior, Cuarón captures the status of the modern human condition as aspects of economic class, race and ethnicity, and gender roles. With this particular film being an Oscar darling next year in 2019, Roma will visually and emotionally please your inner cinephile.

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Duane Paul Murphy is a D.C. college student and student journalist born and raised in Southern California. Currently studying for his bachelor’s in politics and a minor in media studies, Duane Paul is interested in covering domestic as well as international political affairs that impact the lives of everyday people, whether they are young students, professionals, or faculty in higher education.

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