Won: Best Foreign Language Film, Best Cinematography, Best Director
Nominated: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing
Alfonso Curaón’s Netflix-backed Oscar-winner Roma returns to Tyneside Cinema as part of our Best Pictures season. Based on Curaón’s own childhood in 1970s Mexico, Roma follows Cleo (played by non-professional newcomer Yalitza Aparicio) as one of two domestic workers who help Antonio and Sofía take care of their four children in a well-to-do district of Mexico City.
Out of nowhere, Antonio runs away with his mistress leaving his wife Sofía with their children. At the same time, Cleo learns she is pregnant. The film sees the unraveling of both Sofía’s and Cleo’s private lives, whilst they both attempt to co-exist together in the blurred lines of their employer / employee relationship; including taking a family vacation together, in which Cleo is both live-in-maid and emotional crutch to Sofía.
There is a sensitivity in Curaón’s depiction of the tiny injustices faced by Cleo as a domestic worker, alongside the race and class distinctions so acutely felt – even when Sofía is genuinely trying to be kind and welcoming. A sympathetic and compelling piece of cinematic storytelling that visually wows with its beautiful black and white cinematography (much of which was shot by Curaón himself), Roma offers a rich and detailed portrayal of 1970s Mexico, personal history, and the contours of a family.
Part of Best Pictures, our season celebrating some of the best prize winners (and most controversial near misses) from the history of the Academy Awards.