Housekeeping’s Patron Saint

Scout Tafoya in the Los Angeles Review of Books:

I CAN TELL YOU the moment Roma revealed itself to be an indulgence, a liberal pose struck by a director whose infrequent output has helped build an unsupportable myth about his genius. It involves a trip to the movies, every director’s favorite shorthand for the magical, transporting power of cinema that saves them the trouble of having to conjure that power themselves.

Roma is the latest film by Alfonso Cuarón, whose previous credits include 2001’s Y Tu Mamá También, 2006’s Children of Men, and 2013’s elephantine but empty Gravity. It’s ostensibly about the maid who raised Cuarón and his brothers, but this two-hour-and-15-minute movie that takes the housekeeper Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) as its protagonist is not really about her at all. It’s about Toño (Diego Cortina Autrey), Paco (Carlos Peralta), and Pepe (Marco Graf), the three young boys she watches. Secondarily it’s about Cleo, the boy’s mother Sofía (Marina de Tavira), and their sister Sofi (Daniela Demesa), invented out of whole cloth to counterbalance the masculine core of the movie.

More here.