This movie represents perhaps the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the Oscars and the Baftas. It's selection is entirely Political and political and like the "times up" and "me too" movement last year or indeed the under-representation of BME winners the year before its elevation to greatness is based on the latest or "worthy" fashion trend. I am disgusted and betrayed that organisations whose raison d'etre is to recognise and promote excellence in the film industry would allow themselves to be so hood-winked and tainted by this calumny.
I will now analyse this movie in detail under 7 headings.
1, The Memories, The Director Alfonso Cuaron states the movies is a collection of his memories and the women who reared him. For this approach to have any meaning for the viewer the memory recalled must be either of emotional or historical significance to the formation of a specific character. No character had discernable definition, no emotion was conveyed and a memory of dog excrement or bad driving, disappearing bookcases or fireworks is of insufficient weight to convey meaning. I would go further that in the mundanity and rambling progression of this movie the "events" inserted were so contrived to provide a catalyst that I laughed in exasperation.
2, The Characters, there was no character definition to define any specific character, there was no script to speak of to attach to any character that would display an emotional inner world, history or future. Moving from room to room cleaning and turning off lights is not acting, if it were so I would have earned at least two Oscars this morning. We were just shown the mundanity of feckless acts by ugly people who we cared not whether they lived or died. I vote for the latter. I had to laugh when the Director stated he went through countless villages auditioning thousands of women to find his "Cleo", my cleaner is available anytime WTF!
3. The Corpus Christi Massacre, this was handled as a side-issue or even a non-issue, there was here finally a chance to say something by the Director, and yet the whole event was diluted by shopping for a cot and Cleo's waters breaking. If I were to choose a comparator perhaps it would be the absence of the French Revolution in a Jane Austin novel despite it occuring as a backdrop. The device of inserting incidents, the fireworks, the abandonment, the near drowning were introduced as catalysts for plot development but literally nothing followed, leading to frustration for the viewer. Any successful drama is the compression of reality over conflict here the drama was displayed practically in real time and therefore there was no compression and hence no drama.
4. Toxic Masculinity, wow the same old cards, all men are losers, all men abuse and abandon women, the "fictional" sisterhood in a domestic setting (no such thing), the underpinning of a pseudo-reality where only women can be compassionate, only women own up to the responsibilities of child rearing. Give me a break, this is not toxic masculinity but strident feminist misandry with an agenda. There was nothing new here in this movie that wasn't said 20 years ago, and what there was handled badly. This movie was a setback for any feminist principles and they should be ashamed.
5, The Cinematography, the black and white just underpinned a dreadful black and white world. Yes the tonal qualities of the images were good, but cinematography is a vehicle for the story and drama before us, much of its was delivered like a series of postcards, the camera moved with a lack of variety. Overall this was style over substance and certainly not worthy of an Oscar when compared to the Favourite or Bohemian Rhapsody.
6. The Simplicity, we had lengthy views, panoramas, cleaning, driving , marching, water, the seaside, fireworks etc etc. So what! How does this entertain me in of itself, the answer is it doesn't. There was no tension or dramatic impetus, it had the feel of a screensaver or watching a spider build a web. Interesting for a minute and then what next. Within a movie ever image much add to the plot, this series of images had no meaning or profundity and thus we just didn't care.
7. The Score, these was no score we just had the irritating and haphazard sounds of humanity.
In our age film is the new high-art of the 21 century, when news and opinion cannot be trusted film becomes pre-eminent in its power to shape and form public discourse. The Oscars and Baftas matter and the selection of this movie for honour brings these organisations into disrepute at a time when we all need to believe in the honest intentions of "experts".
If there was an Oscar to be handed out it would go to Borras the dog as he told us in the yard repeatedly what he thought about this movie and he was right.