With Netflix really pushing hard to get their name into the conversation of being a Best Picture Nominee, they finally did it with this film by Alfonso Cuaron. The level of talent Netflix was poaching, it is a positive thing for them to find him as a director to distribute his film. Alfonso was recently quoted while doing an interview about the film asking “Well how many people do you think would have gone to the theater to see a black and white foreign language film rather than stream it worldwide at an instant?” He makes a good point in that most people don’t go out of their way to see an arthouse film, none-the-less a foreign language one as well.
This film is beautifully crafted by Alfonso. There are so many shots that can instantly become art gallery photographs in a museum. He did a great job in shooting the feature for his first time doing cinematography as well. There isn’t a whole lot of dialogue in the film, but the dialogue is used effectively. Though the film is in black and white — it did distract me at first but eventually I adjusted and forgot that I was watching a black and white film. This is a film that takes some focus to be able to pay attention. You can easily listen to this and have it play in the background, but I there were so many shots after awhile that kept my attention.
We are alone. No matter what they tell you, we women are always alone.
The performance by Yalitza Aparicio as a maid to a middle class family was a compelling story with an incredible performance by her. She really sells the movie as a new fresh voice to the world of cinema. She has so many heartbreaking scenes and emotional beats that she pulls off effortlessly that I am astounded by from someone who is a first time actress in a motion picture. I hope this film brings her more work and that she gets the exposure she needs to bring more Latino voices to the fore front. The setting really helps the world feel more lived in. I feel like I am in the 1970’s era of Mexico where there is civil unrest and chaos all around.
I would say people should check the film out at some point. I wish I could have seen this on the big screen — as that would have helped with my attention than watching it at home. There is so much effort clearly put into this movie to make it an experience than just another foreign language film to appeal to the awards circuit.