Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) is the live-in maid and nanny for an upper-middle-class family in Mexico City in the 1970s. While Cleo’s days are long, she is content in her role in the house, despite the occasional hushed upbraiding from her employers, and the daily task of cleaning dog excrement from the family’s large garage. When Cleo accidentally becomes pregnant, ROMA reaches a turning point, devised in subtle parallel structure: Cleo realizes she will be going through her pregnancy alone, while her female employer, Sofia (Marina De Tavira), learns of the reason behind her husband’s increasingly prolonged absences. Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical portrait of a house in quiet upheaval is profoundly compassionate and humanistic, shot in gorgeous widescreen black and white, and referencing an array of works from cinema’s history, from the spectacular films of Federico Fellini, to Luis Buñuel’s LOS OLVIDADOS and Jean Renoir’s THE RULES OF THE GAME. Anchored by an exceptionally powerful performance from newcomer Aparicio, the film is a transcendent masterwork from one of our greatest living filmmakers.
Alfonso Cuaron was born in Mexico City in 1961. His impressive list of feature films includes THE LITTLE PRINCESS, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, CHILDREN OF MEN and Best Director Oscar® winner GRAVITY. ROMA won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.