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It is not often that we get a new film from director Alfonso Cuarón. His last movie was 2013's Gravity, which won him an Oscar for Best Director, and before that was 2006's Children of Men. So when the auteur has a new movie coming out, it's worth paying attention. The director's latest effort, Roma, leaves the science fiction genre behind and sees Alfonso Cuarón return to his roots in his first Mexico-based film since Y Tu Mamá También. The first trailer doesn't give us much in the way of plot, but it does convey the feeling that this will be something special that is heartwarming and inspirational. You can check out the beautiful trailer for Roma below:
This first trailer doesn't really tell you specifically what the film is about and instead leans into the tone and feel of the film, and does an incredibly effective job at it. The music and Alfonso Cuarón's beautiful black and white cinematography have a stirring quality to them that works on your emotions before we even know these characters. Watching the trailer, you just get the sense that this is going to be truly moving film. I don't even want to see another trailer, I just want to see Roma.
Roma follows a year in the life of a middle class family living in Mexico City in the 1970s. The trailer has this sprawling quality to it that indicates the story is going to cover all the highs and lows that this family goes through set against the backdrop of political turmoil like the Corpus Christi Massacre in 1971. Alfonso Cuarón has spoken about how personal this film is to him as he himself grew up in Mexico City in the 1960s and '70s, and while the film isn't necessarily autobiographical, much of it was taken from his own memory.
As you may have noticed from the trailer, Roma is a Netflix film. Netflix has been getting into the prestige film game since Beasts of No Nation and is now working with Alfonso Cuarón on Roma and Martin Scorsese on next year's The Irishman. In addition to hitting the streaming service, Roma will be showing at TIFF and receive a limited theatrical release later this year, no doubt to qualify for awards consideration. It's a pity that most audiences won't get to see this film in theaters. Alfonso Cuarón shot the film digitally on 65mm with the Alexa65, and it looks positively stunning. I fully expect one of the director's famous long takes in this gorgeous format and it is deserving of a big screen presentation.
However given that it is a prestige Spanish-language film shot in black and white, you can see how Roma might struggle with a wide release in theaters. Thankfully it will still be getting something of a theatrical run and will be available to a wide audience to experience on the streaming platform.