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SMR 228: Roma

Rod is joined by J-L Cauvin to discuss Alfonso Cuarón’s critically acclaimed drama, “Roma.” We also discuss “The Revenant”, awards season and listener feedback.



    I can’t lie to y’all: Roma took awhile to get good. Despite the gorgeous direction by Alfonso Cuaron & the sublime cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki, I found to be a boring movie for a bit. Waiting to see how these plots & subplots were going to lead to something big. I stuck with it & I’m glad I did, because it got really good in the second half. Glad I was patient.

    Yalitiza Apaprico did an awesome job for her first ever film. Same for the rest of the cast. This film is also one of Netflix’s better original movies. It makes good use of the platform, tells a good story & will be remembered for furthering the film industry along, no matter what Steven Spielberg & what some others say about streaming media. Hope Cuaron gets all the Netflix money to go along with his Oscar.

  2. nahan87

    Hey TBGWT fam, sorry this is so long but I had a bit of a breakthrough. When I watched Roma my first impression was that it was very beautiful, there were some moving parts, but overall I found it boring. Fast forward a month later and my Peruvian co-worker finally watches it. He sat me down because he needed someone to talk to about the movie. He said from the opening scene to the closing, everything in Roma was his life in Peru when he was a kid. From the garage scene where the dad is trying to get his car into a small space to the guy going from house to house sharpening knives. My friend said it was like sense memory to the point where every sound brought up a memory from his childhood.

    He grew up middle class in Peru and had two housekeepers in his home who lived above them similarly to the two women in Roma. He and his sister would go upstairs to play with them while they washed his family clothes, their housekeepers would go on vacations with them, and his parents never went into the kitchen because that was the two women’s domain. The women, like in Roma, were up before the family woke and couldn’t go to sleep until his family was sleep because if they asked for some tea or food, that was their job to get it. He was so moved by the film that he felt guilty about how he was raised. We talked for a long time about every aspect of the film even down to the student protests. Apparently the exact thing happened in Peru but just a decade later.

    After talking to him I realized that even though I am a black woman, I acted really white with my first impression of Roma. I didn’t understand all of the cultural references in it and Alfono Cuaron didn’t want to and didn’t need to explain them. As my friend talked it reminded me of how I feel when I watch Atlanta. It’s so black and specific to black people and they don’t explain the cultural references. I wasn’t the target audience for Roma and that’s ok. The people it was meant to show were seen and it made me have to do some homework to truly understand. Well, now my friend wants to show Roma to his parents in the hopes that it gives them some perspective into the lives of the women they employed and informs the friends around them. Cuaron really did his thing.

  3. GWG

    This discussion made me appreciate the film even more – thanks guys!

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