Tag Archives: ramon

ROMA (2018) – My rating: 7.5/10

Roma is a drama written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who also produced, co-edited and shot the film. Roma is also a co-production of Mexico and the United States. Set in 1970 and 1971, the film is a semi-autobiographical take on Cuarón’s upbringing in Mexico City, and follows the life of a live-in housekeeper to a middle-class family. The title refers to Colonia Roma, a neighborhood in the city. Roma also won two Golden Globes for Best Director and Best Foreign Language Film at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, and four Critics’ Choice Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture at the 24th Critics’ Choice Awards; it also received seven nominations at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards.  There’s has been lots of hoopla regarding Roma.  I decided to see it based on it’s nominations and potential to be Oscar nodded.  Good story but extremely slow and not for everyone.

Filmed in black and white with English subtitles, Roma is set in 1970 and opens with endless water being poured over a marble floor.  Cleodegaria “Cleo” Gutierrez (Yalitza Aparicio) who is a maid in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City works in the household of Sofia (Marina de Tavira) and is the one cleaning the entrance way, using a bucket and a broom. In addition to Sofia and Cleo, Antonio (Fernando Grediaga), who is Sofia’s husband and their four young children, Sofia’s mother Teresa (Veronica Garcia), and another maid, Adela (Nancy Garcia) live in the spacious house. Antonio, a doctor, leaves for a job conference in Quebec, Canada. Scenes that showed Cleo’s life with the family includes her cleaning, cooking, taking the kids to and from school, serving them meals, putting the kids to bed and waking them up, gives us an idea of the responsibilities Cleo is expected to do on a daily basis. It also becomes clear that Sofia and Antonio’s marriage is strained. After a brief return, Antonio leaves again, saying he is going back to Quebec for a few weeks to further work on his research.

Taking advantage of some time off, Cleo and Adela go out with their boyfriends, Fermín (Jorge Antonio Guerrero) and Ramón (Jose Manuel Guerrero Mendoza), to the theater. At the entrance, Cleo and Fermín decide to rent a room instead of seeing the movie. A very naked Fermín shows off his martial arts skill using the shower curtain rod as a pole. While on another date, both couples meet in a movie theater, where Cleo tells Fermín that she thinks she is pregnant. As the movie (La Grande Vadrouille) is about to end, Fermín says he is going to the bathroom and ask Cleo if she wanted some ice cream, but then does not return and is nowhere to be found. Cleo reveals the same concern to Sofia, who takes her to get checked at the hospital where Antonio works. The doctor there confirms Cleo’s pregnancy.

Sofia takes Cleo, Adela and her children to a family friend’s hacienda to celebrate New Year’s. Both the landowners and the workers mention recent tensions over land in the area. During the celebrations, a fire erupts in the forest. Everyone helps put out the fire as a man counts down the remaining seconds of 1970. Back in the city, Cleo accompanies the children and their grandmother to a movie theater to watch Marooned. As they are entering, Antonio is seen rushing out with a young woman. Sofia tries to hide Antonio’s departure from the children, but her second son learns of it by eavesdropping in on a phone conversation. She asks him to not tell his other siblings who believe their father is still away on business in Canada.

As it turns out, Roma is basically about Cleo.  While the story is  told tenderly, it is slow and perhaps somewhat boring to some.  It you stick with it, you’ll find some extremely interesting moments.  Overall, the story is worth sharing and I’ve left it at a point where there are many loose ends/questions that you will have to get the answers to by actually seeing the movie.  The good news is it’s on Netflix and easily accessible if you subscribe.  I don’t see 10 nominations but that is just my opinion.  Things turn out or not just the way they should.  Check it Out!

[Roma is Oscar nominated for BEST; Picture, Actress, Supporting Actress, Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Best Foreign-Language Film]

 

A STAR IS BORN (2018) – My rating: 9.5/10

AStarIsBornA Star Is Born is a romantic musical drama produced and directed by Bradley Cooper (in his directorial debut) and written by Cooper, Eric Roth and Will Fetters. This film is a remake of the 1937 film of the same name. It marks the third American remake of the original 1937 film (which starred Janet Gaynor and Fredric March), after the 1954 musical (starring Judy Garland and James Mason) and the 1976 rock musical (with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson).

Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) performs at sold out concerts but has a serious drinking problem, which he hides from the public (“Black Eyes”). Jackson’s main support and manager is his older brother Bobby Maine (Sam Elliott) who is always there for him. One night, after preforming a show, Jackson has his driver drop him off at a bar so that he can continue to drink.  There he witnesses Ally (Lady Gaga), a singer/songwriter perform (“La Vie en rose”).  Ally also works as a waitress with her friend Ramon (Anthony Ramos), while moonlighting as a singer at a drag bar. Amazed by her talent, they have a drink together and Ally reveals that she has never pursued a professional career due to being told that she has a big nose, something Jackson admits that he finds attractive and they share songs together.

He drops her off at her home where she lives with her widower father Lorenzo (Andrew Dice Clay) who runs a driving service with his friends. Jackson asks Ally to come to his show that night, but she refuses even when her father insists that she go. She eventually changes her mind and takes Ramon with her where Jackson asks Ally to sing on stage with him. After some hesitation, she relents and is praised on social media (“Shallow”).  Jackson has Ally perform at several concerts with him and they slowly begin to form a relationship (“Maybe It’s Time”).

A Star is Born is an intense love story of two singers of which one of them is an alcoholic.  I cannot say enough about the performances of Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Bradley Cooper and Sam Elliott.  I was memorized by Clay’s performance as Ally’s father.  It was the first time I’ve seen him in a serious role.  Bradley Cooper was more than convincing as a hopeless, love sick, drunk. I was also surprised at his singing abilities.  Lady Gaga was her usual kick ass singer self.  It was worth seeing the movie just to hear her sing.  A Star is Born was totally believable and very entertaining.  I loved this movie and shout out kudos to Bradley Cooper, what a debut.  The story gets very deep and shows the ups and downs of an alcoholic as he tries to change his life around.  A Star is Born is well worth your time and money to see it.  Check it out!

[A Star is Born is Oscar nominated for BEST: Picture, Actress, Actor, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Original Song and Best Sound Mixing]