Set in the early 70s and based largely on experiences from his childhood, this eighth feature by Alfonso Cuarón follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio, whose silent expressiveness recalls that of Falconetti in The Passion of Joan of Arc), a live-in housemaid for an upper-middle-class family in Mexico City, while she contends with an unexpected pregnancy amidst domestic and political turmoil. As in some of his earlier films (Y Tu Mamá También, A Little Princess, Children of Men), Cuarón explores the dynamic between the affluent and the underprivileged, though the result is ambiguous here. There’s no denying, however, that Cuarón is a master of his craft; also serving as the film’s co-editor and cinematographer (this was shot in widescreen and exquisite black-and-white—it’s a remarkable technical achievement, the year’s best), he develops form and plot harmoniously. In Cuarón’s films, cinema conjures up its own world, and this one provides the chance to explore it with him more intimately than ever before. In Spanish and Mixtec with subtitles.
R • 2 hours 15 min • 2018