Entertainment

Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma’ Took Home Two Awards At The 2019 Golden Globes

Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” is now on Netflix and movie critics and fans cannot get enough of the director’s newest cinematic feat. The film was shown in select theaters around the world and has been receiving resounding praise. It is being predicted that this film will single-handedly dominate the awards show season and it is clear to see why.

“Roma” took home two Golden Globes last night, including for Best Foreign Film.

The film tells the story of Cleo, a maid working for a middle-class family in Mexico City. The black-and-white Spanish-language movie with English subtitles is a pure masterpiece. Not just because it was directed by Cuarón, who’s previous films includes “Gravity,” “Children of Men,” and “Y Tu Mamá También,” but because of how it tells such an intimate story.

“Roma” is more poignant because of the central character, an indigenous woman, who struggles like most of us to make money, but more importantly is also with trying to find who she is outside of caring for this family.

The role of Cleo is largely based on Cuarón’s own maid who practically raised him.

CREDIT: Instagram/@romacuaron

Cuarón told Variety about his reasoning for wanting to make this film and make Cleo the main character.

“I think I wanted to understand, to put the pieces together,” he said. But also added that he realizes there’s a complex dynamic of a brown woman taking care of a white Mexican family. He wanted to capture that nuance behind an almost childlike lens, which is why he shot this movie in black and white digital.

“It was probably my own guilt about social dynamics, class dynamics, racial dynamics,” he told Variety. “I was a white, middle-class, Mexican kid living in this bubble. I didn’t have an awareness. I [had] what your parents tell you — that you have to be nice to people who are less privileged than you and all of that — but you’re in your childhood universe.”

The film first premiered at the Venice Film Festival where it won the Golden Lion Award.

CREDIT: Instagram/@romacuaron

This award is the highest prize given to a film at the Venice Film Festival, so right off the bat, it came out swinging.

Since its premiere, “Roma” has already won a slew of awards.

CREDIT: Instagram/@romacuaron

Here’s just some…

New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film

BIFA Award for Best Foreign Independent Film

New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director

New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematographer

L.A. Film Critics Association Awards: ‘Roma’ Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography

Also, Best Film in the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, the Chicago Film Critics Association and at the Philadelphia Film Critics Awards.

All roads clearly lead to the Oscars, right?

CREDIT: Instagram/@romacuaron

According to the award prediction site Gold Derby, “Roma,” as of now, is not predicted to win Best Picture. Right now it looks as if “A Star Is Born” will win Best Picture, but “Roma” is right behind it.


READ: A Border Vigilante Hunts Down Immigrants in the Intense Trailer for ‘Desierto’

Have you seen “Roma”? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting in the section below!

If You Haven’t Seen Real Women Have Curves, Here’s A Breakdown Of Why It’s So Important

Entertainment

If You Haven’t Seen Real Women Have Curves, Here’s A Breakdown Of Why It’s So Important

Newmarket Films

For so many young Latinas, Real Women Have Curves was a glorious cinematic anthem of self-confidence, self-worth, and following your dreams. Although its messages of self-acceptance were lauded by women of all identities and backgrounds, it follows a young Mexican-American girl (played by the fabulous America Ferrera) on her journey to adulthood, centering on issues that affect a lot of Latinx folks to this day. Ferrera’s character, Ana García, feels like a direct representation of so many young Latina women, in particular, struggling to not only love themselves, but to receive they respect they deserve in their own country.

If you haven’t seen Real Women Have Curves, here’s a breakdown of why it’s so important.

Credit: Shuttershock

The protagonist, 18-year-old Ana García, lives in LA with her family, who own and operate a small textile factory. Ana has big dreams of leaving her family’s tough financial situation behind in pursuit of a college education—and while Ana’s sister and father support her ambitions, her mother is resistant, insisting that Ana stay home and help keep the family afloat. Meanwhile, Ana’s high school teacher, Mr. Guzman (played by none other than George Lopez) encourages her to apply to Columbia University, despite her belief that she shouldn’t bother because her family can’t afford tuition. Yet Mr. Guzman continues to persist, even speaking directly to Ana’s family at her graduation party and urging them to let her apply to college.

Over the course of the movie, Ana is not just faced with her mother’s harsh attitude about her future, but also about her body.

After receiving constant reminders about not eating too much cake, or about being too promiscuous, Ana finally breaks, challenging her mother’s emotionally abusive behavior in what is perhaps the movie’s most famous scene.

Credit: Newmarket Films

In this scene, Ana and her fellow factory workers begin removing their clothes in an attempt to cool off. Standing there in their underwear, Ana and the other women examine each other’s bodies, comparing their “flaws”—only to realize that their bodies are not flawed at all. They display their stretch marks, their cellulite, their different shapes and silhouettes. They realize how truly natural and normal their own bodies are, and they help each other celebrate their uniqueness. When Ana’s mother throws a fit and leaves the factory complaining about her family and her employees’ shamelessness, Ana revels in this moment of rebellion, acknowledging that they are women, and this is who they truly are—real women with real curves.

At the end of the movie, Ana is faced with the inevitable and difficult decision we anticipated all along: she is accepted into Columbia University on a scholarship, and she must choose whether to stay or go. At first, her mother’s adamant opposition convinces her to stay, but she ultimately realizes that she must be true to herself, and after ensuring her father’s full support, Ana departs for her new life in New York City.

In 2002, Real Women Have Curves was monumental in its realistic portrayal of a common paradigm for Latinx folks—the pressures (and joys) of family often competing with other dreams and ambitions, as well as the pressures that US society often unfairly places on Latina women and their bodies.

Credit: Newmarket Films

And the thing is—this film is still relevant, still relatable, and still powerful. Released as an indie feature from director Patricia Cardoso, it remains an inspiring representation of female empowerment, showing the complexities of familial relationships and the importance of supporting the people close to you. It also demonstrates the importance of honoring yourself, even if the circumstances make it difficult (or nearly impossible) to do so. The messages conveyed in Real Women Have Curves are fundamental to the human experience, and will surely remain topical and relevant far into the future.

In fact, in recognition of its immense social and cultural impact, Real Women Have Curves was just added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. The National Film Registry selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation. So, this is a pretty big deal.

The addition of Real Women Have Curves adds undeniable dimension and diversity to the current portfolio of films on the National Registry. In addition to this Latino indie classic, Luis Valdez’s 1981 musical, Zoot Suit, was also added this year. Valdez is considered the father of Chicano theater, and this play tells the story of the famed zoot suit riots and Sleepy Lagoon murder case that captivated Los Angeles back in the 1940s. Starring Edward James Olmos and Tyne Daley, Zoot Suit was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1982, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth a watch.

And if you haven’t seen Real Women Have Curves in a while, now’s a good time to revisit it and remind yourself why it will remain important for decades to come!

Alfonso Cuarón Was Forced To Confront His Own Family’s History Of Thier Maid While Making ‘Roma’

Entertainment

Alfonso Cuarón Was Forced To Confront His Own Family’s History Of Thier Maid While Making ‘Roma’

alfonsocuaron / Instagram

“Roma” is a classic in the hearts of millions of fans who saw themselves on screen. For Latinos, the movie represents a glimpse of our rich history, the divide of social classes, and a story that deserves to be told. For cinephiles, the film is a work of art directed by one of the best directors of all time. But the story and film are two separate things. It’s a multilayered entity that we are still uncovering today, the hallmark of a classic as it will evolve to stay relevant.

Director Alfonso Cuarón said he began working on “Roma” 12 years ago.

Instagram/@/romacuaron

In an interview with Daily Mail, Cuarón said that he wanted to make a movie about his maid/nanny more than a decade ago. He wasn’t sure how the project or film would take shape, but he knew that he wanted to tell the story of Libo Rodriguez and how she raised Cuarón and his siblings.

This is something Cuarón as always been transparent about in many interviews. The focus of the film, as he has admitted, was to bring out the story of his family and maid in an authentic and honest portrayal.

Four years ago, Cuarón said he asked Libo if he could interview for his project, which, at the time, he called “The Book Of Hours.”

Instagram/@/romacuaron

“The first part was going through her routine, and it was almost a forensic account,” he told the publication. “All the detail was there, like how she would sit on the bed and wake up one of my siblings. We were talking about the bubble I was aware of. The house and my neighborhood.”

Their conversation back then covered everything that she did for them from showing them love, to cleaning up after them, to having “the talk.”

“She was like my parent, and you don’t question your parents about such things,” he said.

Going through these conversations, Cuarón realized the privilege he had by having Libo in his life.

Instagram/@romacuaron

He said he felt immense guilt about their treatment toward her. The film ended up being a way to show his gratitude while also repairing what was broken.

“On the one hand, we’re saying: ‘We love you!” But go and wash the clothes, and bring me a smoothie.” He went on to say, “She had hardships in her life. Hunger when she was a child. And the cold. My experience of hunger then was ‘Oh, we’re late for lunch.'”

“The wound is part of who you are,” he said, “It’s like repairing a crack in a wall. Or, better, mending broken pottery. It’s about repairing yourself. And the end product is more beautiful than the original.”

Cuarón honest depiction of this relationship has stirred emotions within Mexico. The sudden rise in stardom for Yalitza Aparicio forced many in the country to reckon with the ideas around indigenous and non-white Mexicans.

READ: “Roma” Wins Three Oscars At The 2019 Academy Awards