Sandy Kenyon says 'Roma' could be Netflix's 1st Best Picture nomination at Oscars

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Sandy Kenyon reviews the Netflix movie 'Roma'

"Roma" could be streaming service Netflix's first Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.

The film has already been called the year's best by critics here in the city, as well as in Chicago and Los Angeles -- it will be on my "10 best" list as well.

One man's memories of his childhood and the live-in nanny he loved make for one of the most sublime movies of the year.

"Roma," named for the neighborhood in Mexico City where director Alfonso Cuaron grew up, is a film that requires your attention. And if you give yourself over to its magic, then you will be rewarded as I was.

The opening of the film consists of minute-after-minute of a family's servant cleaning, and I put off seeing the picture because I worried a guy like me with a short attention span would get distracted or even bored. But I wasn't.

However, events in this domestic drama do unfold slowly. A father leaves home, a mother tries to cope, a nanny who faces her own challenges in pregnancy, and a lover fails to take any responsibility for the baby.

It's hard to believe that Yalitza Aparicio had never acted before this film, yet her performance is one of the best of the year.

Cuaron, who had a major commercial and critical hit with "Gravity," decided to make his remembrance without compromise. He shot the film in Spanish and in black and white, following in the tradition of the Neorealists who shot in the streets of Italy 70 years ago.

It also recalls "The Last Picture Show," a film that helped ignite my love of movies - it's a love that "Roma" reaffirms.

"Roma" takes a very intimate look at a particular slice of life at a particular time in a specific place, but it also has an epic scope, recalling big scenes like student demonstrations. It's this mix of the epic and the intimate that is part of "Roma's power.

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