A great film hindered by its slow-moving pace. Roma has the markings of a being another Alfonso Cuarón classic, but the unraveling of events is far too tedious to maintain this critics interest. This is one film I wanted to love more and just sadly couldn’t.
Interestingly, what does work brilliantly is every other aspect of the movie.
I loved the cinematography the great performances, the clever foreshadowing and plot-tie ins, and even the shot choices. Roma includes many extended and meticulously crafted continuous takes that have made Cuarón has become famous for (see this scene in his film Children of Men). Most of these shots also involved a lot of actors moving together with other events happening within the scene; making it even more impressive to capture everything in one take.
But to be frank, the story was uneventful and unfolded at a far too slow pace for it to be entertaining.
It takes a whole 40 minutes before anything remotely significant happens to move the plot along. And then when things do pick up the pace, they quickly slow down for another extended period before the next “exciting” event occurs. Eventually these uneventful gaps began to take their toll and, in my opinion, they made the whole film feel incredibly tedious.
I understand there are degrees of minimalism drama and subtleties to pick up, but one can only do so for so long before feeling bored. There must be a worthy pay off to these slow burn type of films and Roma didn’t have that for me. Compared to other films of similar nature like the legendary horror film Audition, which had one of the best payoffs for a slow burn type of film, Roma misses the mark of being such a classic.
It will be interesting to see what happens at the Oscars given many critics are raving this film and I wouldn’t be surprised if Roma managed to take out the award for Best Film. I have o doubt this will take out Best Foreign Language Film and maybe even Best Actress. But in this critic’s opinion, I was less than impressed.
See this if you know you don’t mind slow burn type of films but don’t surprised if the pace grows tiresome. And if you have seen the film, what are your thoughts on the slow-moving pace? Did you feel there was enough happening to make it entertaining? I’m curious to see what the consensus is.