Award Snub: While it did win three Oscars Best Foreign Language Film, Best Cinematography and Best Director and many film pundits expected it to win for Best Picture, it lost to the very controversial and middlebrow Green Book.
Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: During the forest fire, one costumed party-goer approaches the camera removes his mask and sings for full few minutes while the people are trying to put out the fire in the background. This is never referenced again.
Fermin is a Jerkass who refuses to talk to Cleo after he gets her pregnant. But judging by his cold-shouldering and backstory as an orphan, he probably understands just how out of their depth they are and how screwed the child would be. Modern viewers are likely to suggest an abortion or adoption, but in 1970s Mexico, that hardly seems likely or easy.
Nightmare Fuel: The Corpus Christi massacre. Like the director's other film containing violence, the suddenness of the attack is shocking, followed immediately by a couple racing into the store to try to hide the male half of the pair, only for him to be shot to death in front of the terrified customers.
Signature Scene: The beach scene, which also acted as the main image on the film's marketing materials.
The hospital scene. After her own employer declines staying with her to comfort her during labor, Cleo gives birth to a stillborn baby, who she only gets a few seconds with before it's taken away.
The beach scene. Cleo goes into the ocean to rescue the children despite not knowing how to swim before collapsing on the beach, crying as she finally admits that she never wanted the baby, leading the whole family to embrace her and tell her how much they love her.
Values Dissonance: The use of housekeepers and nannies is more ubiquitous in Mexico than in the United States, where only upper-class households tend to use them, leading some to be far less sympathetic to the family's plight and more critical of their assessment of the family's behavior toward Cleo.
Woolseyism: The European Spanish release of the film included Spaniard subtitles, which does the following adaptations: