Entertainment » Movies


by Greg Vellante
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Feb 12, 2020

Biographical films capture not only the soul of their filmmaker but also the collective soul of humanity; that is if they're done right. Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma" is one of these films, brilliantly recreating the writer/director's childhood in early 1970s Mexico City. "Roma" tells the story of Cleo (an Oscar-nominated Yalitza Aparicio, who absolutely stuns in this screen debut), a maid working for a middle-class family while dealing with her own tumultuous personal affairs.

This labor of love is truly one of a kind and Cuarón's best picture since "Children of Men." The filmmaker wrote, directed and co-edited "Roma," as well as taking on the film's gorgeous, inviting and wholly picturesque black and white cinematography. The sound is also of note, as the movie's mixing, editing, and overall soundtrack are just as entrancing as a great symphony.

"Roma," however, was a Netflix film. It had a brief theatrical run, even showing on 70mm film at select locations, but the problem with a streaming service like Netflix is that it has no reason to physically release their media. Why would they sacrifice a monthly subscription for somebody to buy a single film? The immediacy of streaming services is a flaw that must be discussed, especially as Netflix takes on more great films such as this year's "The Irishman" and "Marriage Story." Thankfully, that's where The Criterion Collection comes in to fill the void.

Enter Cuarón's work, the first Netflix film to be released by Criterion. By purchasing this must-have home release, you'll get a 4K digital master that was supervised by Cuarón himself, along with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack on the Blu-ray. There's also a large collection of bonus features that Netflix doesn't offer, so any fan of Cuarón's film (or even his whole filmography in general) should pick up this item immediately. If you do, you'll be treated to documentaries like "Snapshots from the Set," a behind-the-scenes look at "Roma's" production, as well as new documentaries about the film's sound and postproduction processes.

Additional bonus features include:

• "Road to 'Roma,'" a new documentary about the making of the film, featuring behind-the-scenes footage and an interview with Cuarón
• "Snapshots from the Set," a new documentary featuring actors Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira, producers Gabriela Rodríguez and Nicolás Celis, production designer Eugenio Caballero, casting director Luis Rosales, executive producer David Linde, and others
• New documentaries about the film's sound and postproduction processes, featuring Cuarón; Sergio Diaz, Skip Lievsay, and Craig Henighan from the postproduction sound team; editor Adam Gough; postproduction supervisor Carlos Morales; and finishing artist Steven J. Scott
• New documentary about the film's ambitious theatrical campaign and social impact in Mexico, featuring Celis and Rodríguez
• Trailers
• Alternate French subtitles and Spanish SDH
• A booklet featuring essays by novelist Valeria Luiselli, historian Enrique Krauze, and (with the Blu-ray) writing by author Aurelio Asiain, along with production-design images with notes by Caballero


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