‘Roma’ is a film about people on the outskirts of history, dealing with their lives despite occasional collisions with larger forces.
It’s very low key. Cuaron does a few long takes, and (I’m assuming) the period detail of 1970/71 Mexico is carefully researched and accurately reproduced, but it’s really a domestic drama that’s totally familiar, despite being drawn from his own childhood. His real life had some dramatic cliches in it.
I went in knowing as little as I could but, for a change, I actually think that’s not the best way to do it. You benefit from knowing that this isn’t the same guy who made (perhaps) the best of the ‘Harry Potter’ films, plus ‘Children of Men’ and ‘Gravity’.
Some of it is mundane to the point of being boring (to me) and when he does jazz things up it becomes something else, something that I would’ve preferred.
But this is the film he wanted to make, it is good, and Netflix made it happen.