12 YEARS A SLAVE may have won Best Picture at the Oscars in 2014, but Alfonso Cuarón took home the statue for Best Director for his jaw-dropping work on the masterpiece GRAVITY. After a few years away, he’s back with his new drama ROMA, and Netflix has released the first magnificent trailer for the movie, which recalls the humbler, more grounded earlier work of the director (Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN) but demonstrates the same kind of impressive visual scope of movies like CHILDREN OF MEN. Does this have the potential to be his best work yet?
The movie will premiere at TIFF next month before being released by Netflix later this year, no doubt with the intent for awards season. Even if you can watch it on Netflix when it drops this looks like prime theatrical viewing. It will probably get a limited run for awards consideration, but this movie looks too gorgeous to watch on a phone, so if you can see it in theaters it must be sought out.
Here is the plot synopsis:
ROMA chronicles a turbulent year in the lives of a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico City. Cuarón, inspired by the women from his childhood, delivers an artful ode to the matriarchy that shaped his world.
A vivid portrayal of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidstpolitical turmoil, ROMA follows a young domestic worker Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) from Mixteco heritage descent and her co-worker Adela (Nancy García), also Mixteca, who work for a small family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma. Mother of four, Sofia (Marina de Tavira), copes with the extended absence of her husband, Cleo faces her own devastating news that threatens to distract her from caring for Sofia’s children, whom she loves as her own. While trying to construct a new sense of love and solidarity in a context of a social hierarchy where class and race are perversely intertwined, Cleo and Sofia quietly wrestle with changes infiltrating the family home in a country facing confrontation between a government-backed militia and student demonstrators.
Filmed in luminous black and white, ROMA is an intimate, gut-wrenching and ultimately life-affirming portrait of the ways, small and large, one family maintains its balance in a time of personal, social and political strife.
ROMA will drop on Netflix later this year but will be shown at TIFF next month, so stay tuned for that review!