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Ida (2014)

Agata Trzebuchowska as the title character.

Agata Trzebuchowska as the title character.

One nice thing about seeing a foreign film is you know it is mostly going to be good (why would a country distribute bad movies, let alone make them in the first place is beyond me). Ida, the most recent winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, is definitely a great movie.

Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, the film tells the story of Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska), a young nun in Poland during the 1960s. She receives word of one living relative, an Aunt named Wanda (Agata Kulesza). She lets Anna know of her past; She is really Jewish, and they go in search of Anna’s (who finds out her real name is Ida) parents who died during the second World War.

During this time, Wanda tries to show Ida how to have a little fun in life: go to a concert, wear nice dresses, etc. Ida is truly a shy woman, and it can be shown in the wonderful performance by Trzebuchowska. The movie’s best attribute is the stunning cinematography (which was also nominated for an Oscar). The camera work is audacious in that it shows so much by seeming to do so little. Had this movie not been in Black and White, it would not have the effect it did.

Parents, the movie does has some sexual material towards the end, so caution should be advised. I would say mature high school students and above would be ok, I think.

Like all great movies, this one is too short (only one hour and 22 minutes). In a way, it still means to put just enough into it to make me want to visit it again.

Overall: Four Stars ****

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