“We wanted the film to have a pace of life itself,” reveals Alfonso Cuaron about editing Netflix’s “Roma” along with his co-editor Adam Gough. In the exclusive featurette (watch above), Cuaron continues, “Sometimes the most meaningful moments are the ones in which apparently nothing happens.” Besides editing the movie, Cuaron also produced, directed, wrote and shot this semi-autobiographical tale about his growing up in Mexico City. It’s Netflix’s first real shot at winning top Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress for Yalitza Aparicio.
While Cuaron was shooting the film, he confirms that Gough was “doing a whole preparation of making sure that he became very, very familiar with the material.” Gough chimes in, “I’ve got notebooks that just stack up with all thoughts and ideas while we just went through everything. Some of the takes we’re dealing with are five minutes in length.”
Getting into the specifics of “Roma,” Gough notes, “Something that was new for me in this was not having a score, so if these cuts didn’t work there was nothing that was gonna help us cheating the emotion, or helping us with a transition between scenes. Every cut is bare, so it needs to be as honest as possible.”
Cuaron’s biggest challenge from the editing standpoint was the non-narrative structure of the movie. “This is not a film that follows a traditional narrative,” he says. “Here is more about an emotional flow.” Gough reveals that Cuaron was “so open to experimenting and removing things,” adding, “as long as the flow worked, that was what was important.”
“Roma” has already been nominated for Best Film Editing at the Critics’ Choice Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards and various other critics’ groups, and is now the frontrunner to win the Oscar. Gough would be a first-time Oscar nominee while Cuaron is a two-time winner for “Gravity” (Best Directing and Best Film Editing). Cuaron was also nominated for producing “Gravity” (2013), writing and editing “Children of Men” (2006) and writing ” Y tu mamá también” (2001).
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own 2019 Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.