Incredible, amazing, beautiful!
Stars: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Synopsis: Following the events spanning a year in the life of Cleo, the live-in maid of a middle-class family in Mexico City. While a year doesn’t seem like a lot of time, this film shows us how much can truly happen in 12 months all while also exploring the behaviours and actions of the people that Cleo interacts with during that time.
Opinion: This is an absolutely beautiful film, very basic in its premise yet so raw and filled with so much emotion the whole way through. Yes, it’s in black and white, yes there are subtitles but neither of those things matter when you are literally watching simple, yet quite revealing, moments in the life of Cleo from washing dishes, scooping up dog poop, meeting with a lover and overhearing the marriage breakdown of the family she lives with and works for. It’s honest, fascinating confronting and quite heartbreaking at times but exceptionally put together. Unlike a lot of other films I watch, this one is so full of little mundane moments and slow paced scenes that somehow manage to be utterly fascinating and packed with little pieces of information to help you learn more about this person and the life she lives. I’m not kidding, there is a scene where you watch Cleo go into the toilet, there is just a long pause where you are looking at nothing but a door and then she emerges, wiping her hands after washing them. No film ever would put in a scene like that because it is such a boring, every day task, yet it works and it’s so beautiful in its own way that you can’t imagine it not appearing in this film.
With a simple soundtrack that is essentially just background and atmospheric noises throughout, matched with some really great performances – I mean Yalitza Aparicio is fantastic – it really is very deserving of all the honours and praise and awards it’s been receiving. For just over 2 hours I was so engrossed in and invested in this small window of other peoples lives and families that, when it was over, I found myself thinking back over all the little moments and the feelings they brought forth and the profound impact it has had on me. This film is yet another shining example of the brilliance hat is Alfonso Cuarón.
Them Feels Though: Trust me there will be feelings, many feelings, all different types. I was happy, I laughed, I was angry, I was shocked and yes, I absolutely cried. Prepare yourself for an emotional ride but trust me when I say it’s an enjoyable one.