Synopsis: Ida, an orphan, has been raised in a convent in post second world war Poland but a couple of weeks before taking her orders the mother superior sends her to see an aunt where she discovers who she really is.
Stan's thoughts: Missed this when it was released back in September and I kept hearing such good things that I pounced on a scheduled screening at the Soho Curzon yesterday morning - presumably it's been re-released for awards season.
And I'm so glad I caught it because it is such a beautiful film. It is subtle and quiet, like the central character Ida and every shot is like a beautifully composed photograph, dripping with atmosphere and meaning.
Ida is prepossessing in looks and character, gentle and innocent but certainly not quite as naive as you might think given her upbringing. Agata Trzebuchowska gives one of the subtlest and most intelligent performances I've ever seen. Always perfectly composed she doesn't say much but there is something in her eyes and in a quiet look that communicates volumes. The success in the performance is that by the end you feel like you completely understand her even when the path she takes is unexpected.
It's shortlisted for best foreign film and cinematography Oscars and deservedly so for both. Pawel Pawlikowski writes and directs with such empathy for the subject matter. The politics and history of the period are all there but they never overcrowd Ida's story. It is shot in black and white and the two directors of photography Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski capture the stark 1960s Polish landscape and yet still make it beautiful.
I'll be backing Ida at the Oscars.
- Stan’s 90%
- IMDB 75%
- Metascore 90%
- Rotten Tomatoes 96%
- RT Audience Rating* 80%
* Number of people rating 3.5/5 or higher