Rose and Cameron, you’ve both done some excellent analysis of the plot in Roma. Frankly, Rose, I was surprised at how well the movie lays out per your sequence take. I’d be interested to track the story structure with no restriction on the number of sequences as I’ll bet one could break it down into perhaps two dozen or more mini-sequences. But the take you lay out, Rose, with 9 sequences plus an epilogue / denouement feels like a legitimate appraisal of the plot.
Cameron, I’m also drawn to your approach which is to zero in on some “key markers” as well as noting some key setups and payoffs, the latter of which is another aspect of the story to point out to those who claim Roma has no plot. It moves forward. Hell, there’s an airplane reflected in water in the very opening scene, then an airplane which flies overhead in the very last scene. That must be an intentional callback by Cuarón. Certainly, Guillermo del Toro thinks so. Check out his analysis of the movie by his Twitter feed: LINK.
The main thing re plot for me: It’s the story of two women who know each other intimately, but only so much due to class separation, both bound together as they struggle with the callous actions of men. Cleo’s pregnancy and abandonment by Fermin / Sofía’s rejection by Antonio. More on characters in the Part 3 post.
Bottom line, there is a plot in Roma, just not one which syncs up with conventional Hollywood storytelling. It’s a character-driven piece. And it works beautifully.