Roma ★★★★½

One of my favorite things to do is to walk into a great film with no preconception whatsoever about what it might be. So this part of my review is short: I knew there was a new Alfonso Cuarón thing on Netflix and people were saying nice things about it.*

I loved it. I cried, not for the heartache in the story but in what that story says about our inability to connect with each other through the gaps of capitalism and class.

I found the period detail completely convincing, but that probably has a lot to do with the fact that I know pretty much nothing about Mexico. (A master filmmaker could convince me that anything is "real 1960s Mexico" is what I'm saying.)

And the only other thing I ever say on here is that a film "moves along" or "could have been shorter", and Roma's an interesting study there. There's about 20 minutes of plot here. The things that happen are fairly acute, and stab through a plodding character study / period study / architectural study at their own pace. Somehow, I didn't mind. What's there moves slowly, and I can't even say why. To me, it's lush, loving, beautiful, careful, and thoughtful. But I would totally understand if it rubbed anyone else the wrong way.

"I liked it but it's OK if you don't" is something I usually say about things that are deeply personal to me (NFL football teams, robot police officers, psychodramas about identity) so I guess I have to still figure out why the Mexican peasant girl story grabbed me so. It did. Shut up.

*I am not sure what it is about the Twitter echo chamber, but I am beyond suspicious that America caught Bird Box fever the week after Roma fever, which was the week after Springsteen fever, which was the week after I myself participated in some accidental wild promotion of Buster Scruggs. Am I being tuned into these conversation by my own direction? Is this hype really organic? And what's the end game? This is what I wonder about.