An intimate look into the life of Cleo, a middle class family maid in Mexico in the early 1970s. What she must deal with and how the family are coping with their own issues.
The story is set in Mexico City between 1970 and 1971 taking memories from Alfonso Cuarón’s childhood and the family maid they had named Libo. Apparently 90% of the scenes in the film come from memories he has, that makes this film extremely personal to the renowned director and writer. This is his film and a part of his life, years which changed things.
We follow Cleo as she is around as the family appear to be breaking up with the father leaving on a business trip but then not actually coming back. How the children don’t realise and then the mother trying to come to terms with it all and telling the children. While this is going on Cleo thought she found a nice boyfriend in Fermin but that was far from the case when she finds out she is pregnant. That leads to a really awful heartbreaking scene when she eventually finds him after being abandoned at the cinema after telling him. I thought that really highlighted just how cruel men and people can be.
Throughout the pregnancy Cleo still worked and the family were very good with her in the build up, her first reaction was that they would fire her when finding out. The children playing and the chaos around the house was like what any family goes through and I think that must be one of the reasons the film as been so well received. I say must because I didn’t really get or understand the hype surrounding this film to be completely honest. Visually stunning at times and the wide shots really were breathtaking but I just wasn’t into the story. I guess it doesn’t help either when you see things about it being one of the best and greatest films of all time. It builds it all up to a very high standard and I am not really sure what I was expecting but for me it was a little boring at times and lacked well something. I cannot really think of what it lacked for me but I just didn’t feel it was anywhere near as good as I had heard.
I felt at times it was just too pretentious and tried to be something it just well wasn’t. I didn’t feel too bothered about the characters only a tiny little bit sorry for Cleo at one moment but that wasn’t enough in a film that had her as the centre of the story. Such a shame really with all the positivity surrounding this one I just failed to fall for it as everyone else has. I am sure more people will watch this following the Academy Award nominations and be left feeling underwhelmed with the story and film as a whole. It could well becomes the first ever foreign language film to win the Best Picture Oscar . . .