In an ideal world, the Best Picture is a film that speaks to the critics and the audience in a balanced way. Think of “12 Years a Slave”, “No Country For Old Men”, “Silence of the Lambs”, or even lighthearted movies such as “The Artist”, “Forrest Gump” and “Going My Way”. I realize that “Roma” is a critic’s kind of movie. People I have talked to groan when I say I think it should win. Nonetheless, Alfonso Cuarón’s film is extremely rich in terms of storytelling, subtext, and film work. It is a beautiful movie that can be studied frame-by-frame (just look at the screenshot above). Yalitza Aparicio also delivers one of the best performances of the year. Her role as Cleo, the good and honest woman, is reminiscent of Morita Mitsu, the protagonist in Shūsaku Endō’s touching novel “The Girl I Left Behind”. Seeing her operate as the glue in a family splintered by a bitter situation is subtle and inspirational. Though it is not my personal pick for best picture amongst all the movies released this past year (it would be “The Guilty” directed by Gustav Möller), “Roma” is the clear winner from this rather weak crop of nominees.