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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Cuaron's personal meditation on family is masterful, mature.

Movie R 2018 135 minutes
Roma Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 16+

Black and White and beautiful

This film is everything that everyone has said...lush cinematography with beautiful panning shots. There are many ways in which the film reveals itself...slowly...subtly...beautifully. The intimate depiction of a domestic worker from Oaxaca does not allow room to stereotype. A wonderful way to move forward in more complex portrayals. Black and white makes this film feel more real...more realistic...a stunning example of slice of life and how patriarchy grips many all of the women (and men) in the film.
age 9+
Black and white films make you explore beyond the footage, “Roma” not only takes you on a drive of inequality, but it also takes you on a drive to view the hardships of hard working women. Marching bands in the middle of the street and the cries of the people, take you to an even darker side than the movie itself. As I watched the film my imagination sparked into a bigger picture of confusion, as to why the director Alfonso Cuaron added some contentious scenes. A movie review website known as Rotten Tomatoes, Ryan Gilbey states “ But for all the bustle and brio, it's a visually lucid movie.” I found some confusing scenes, yet others think it is “visually lucid.” The film will not only show the life of Cleo, but it will show the truth about women. “Roma”, will immerse you into several perspectives of how hardworking women become stronger after life hits them. Through a confusion of spiral images strolling into your imagination, and walking out of a dark hole. Cleo the housekeeper of a middle class family not only has her own struggles, but carries on the families struggles as well. The bond she holds with the children is so loving and fills in that void she is missing out on. Not only does Cleo fall into a dark hole, but also Sofia, the mother of the kids. For instance, Fermin gets Cleo pregnant and doesn't want to take responsibility for their child. You could say Fermin saw it as a one night stand, yet Cleo was in love and left alone. Not only that but he threatened her to beat her and their child up. She fell in that deep hole by going through a pregnancy all alone and the struggles of a first time mother. In this scene gender inequality is shown and shows a resilient woman in this case, Cleo. Moving on to Sofia, she was left by her husband with three children and had no support from him, while he was going out with another woman. They both demonstrate hard working women after all the hardships they experienced throughout the film. This demonstrates, how the the director of the film Alfonso Cuaron, incorporates the power of feminism and shows the side of women inequality. Many may ask why the film is in black and white? According to FAR, The Cinematography of ‘Roma’ states, “Cuarón decided he wanted to film in black and white — a fitting choice for a film looking into the past — but in a way that he hadn’t seen before. He did not want a vintage feel, but a digital black-and-white that looked the part.” In addition, this film reflects on his background. The film is autobiographical and shows Cuaron’s childhood. In Culture, “What is Roma about? Why Oscar-winning Netflix film is so personal to director Alfonso Cuarón”, states “He too was brought up in the district of Roma, and also had a nanny/maid, called Liboria Rodríguez, who he had a great affection for.” The film reflects the struggles Cuaron lived which is another reason why the film is in black and white. Although the film can seem old style due to the color, it expands your imagination to a bigger world. For instance, when Cleo is looking for cribs there's a riot going on and Fermin pointed a gun at her which leads her water to break. In that scene I was confused as to what was coming out. Was it blood or water? Cuaron’s work into the color of the film was well organized, which is what got me intrigued to keep watching it. The sadness, pain, and cries in this film are not the only remarks we get from this movie, yet we get the strong women empowerment. The song “I AM WOMEN '' by Emmy Meli, has lyrics on women being independent and strong in this society. Emmy Meli’s lyrics show the strong side of women and in this case how they are capable of digging out of the hole as seen in Roma. Roma illustrated the emoiwering women and hardships, the message of feminism was clear and sparked my interest to know the end of the movie. They both share the same message and reflect on women's hardships and movement. Roma shares the Mexican culture and life of not only the middle class but also the life of the lower class. It demonstrates how society views others and gives a view on Mexican culture and lifestyle as well. Cuaron did very well in showing the life and struggles of everyone, yet it doesn't change the fact that there were some that were random. Cuaron’s childhood must have been really sad and frightful that caused him to add these mysterious scenes. Fighting, riots, cries, screams, and more can show us that Cauron could have had an unpleasant childhood. Although, there were more depressing scenes than happy ones. I can say that the happy ones did make up for those depressing scenes, the bond the children share with Cleo is priceless. This shows that not only because they are from different social classes they can’t bond and share those special moments. Cuaron added scenes to prove that everyone has value in life, no matter what social class you are in. In this case, Cleo being the housekeeper of the middle class family showing how both classes suffer and struggle, is an eye opener for many people. Overall, Roma made my imagination dig deeper into that hole. Work Cited Gilbey, Ryan. “Roma.” Rotten Tomatoes, Martin, Laura. “What Is Roma about and Is It a True Story?”, 7 Oct. 2020,…. Wardlow, Ciara. “The Cinematography of 'Roma'.” Film School Rejects, 17 June 2020,

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (11 ):

Director Alfonso Cuaron follows up the excellent Gravity the best way he can, by going back to his childhood to make this loving ode to the women who raised him. The film is a poetic, crystalline visual glory, demonstrating Cuaron's graceful, effortless, yet complete command over light, space, and rhythm. It recalls films like Sunrise and The Night of the Hunter, as well as European masters like Bresson, Fellini, and Antonioni. But thematically, it's all Cuaron's, as he follows his characters moving through impressively beautiful, massive, and sometimes threatening space. He continues to use his trademark sustained, unbroken shots, and while he's already proven himself a master at the use of color, here his use of black-and-white proves that he's just as adept with shadows and textures. (The opening shot, with an airplane reflected in a puddle on the floor, is a beauty.) And his detailed recreation of early-'70s Colonia Roma is impeccable, from the music and food to the cars and the use of very Mexican expressions.

Cleo, who represents the reality of millions of domestic employees in Latin America who basically do everything in the house, including waking kids up in the morning and supervising them at night, is a curious character. She's seemingly impassive, almost as if shy to show her emotions. But when she does, it's tender and moving. Roma really puts her through the ringer, but as in Cuaron's other stories of women (A Little Princess, Gravity, etc.), his approach is delicate and affectionate; he never bludgeons. Cleo's trials and tribulations are foreshadowed with little omens, such as a small earthquake in a hospital or a fire, that are almost indirect suggestions of conflict. Even moments of intensity, as when a demonstration turns into a violent riot or Cleo gives birth, are handled as if the viewer were in shock or disbelief. The filmmaker is on our side, not trying to bash us over the head. Most affecting and most memorable are the small, fleeting moments of joy and beauty, touches that make Roma another Cuaron masterpiece.

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