Oscar-winning period drama shot in black and white, set in Poland 1962. Anna is a beautiful 18-year-old orphan preparing to be a nun, when the discovery of a living relative brings monumental change and the uncovering of painful truths... ... More

"UK-based director Pawel Pawlikowski's (My Summer of Love, Last Resort) new film is an elegy for his homeland and an intimate, poetic exploration of the limits of faith. Orphaned during WWII, Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) was brought up in a rural convent and in early '60s Poland is a young novice preparing to take her vows. When the Mother Superior insists she make contact with her last remaining relative, she meets her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a free-living intellectual working as a judge and secretly annihilating painful memories with a heady mix of sex and booze. Their encounter lifts the shroud off the dark secret of their family's past and both women must confront the devastating truth." (London Film Festival)Hide

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Flicks Review

In this era of filmmaking where narrative bloat seems to be the norm, it’s always heartening to see a filmmaker who understands, and continues to practice, the virtue of paring down to essentials and cutting through the bullshit. One such filmmaker is Pawel Pawlikowski, who’s already demonstrated his predilection for wrapping stories up in under 90 minutes with economical gems like Last Resort and My Summer of Love.... More

Ida finds the Warsaw-born director returning to his home country for a black-and-white period piece that’s easily one of the more visually striking, meticulously composed - and hypnotically still - films of the year. Transporting the viewer back to 1961 rural Poland, the film follows Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska), a convent-raised orphan who discovers the grim truth about what happened to her family during the Nazi Occupation of World War II.

A certain portentousness is unavoidable in the material and execution: it’s a film that tackles religion, national identity and wartime horrors, and photographed in the square, once-standard, now-novel academy ratio that begs comparison to the austere formalism of European miserablist heavyweights such as Bresson, Bergman, Tarr et al. But there’s also a subtle wryness that prevents Ida from buckling under the gloom, particularly when Anna is paired with her only living relative, Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a lonely, alcoholic judge with Communist ties. Furthermore, the scenes where Anna is given a taste of freedom in the company of a jazz musician provide lovely, tenderly observed moments of respite.

A quiet, sparsely plotted film that grows in memory.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 3 reviews
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BY Gaspardation superstar

The aesthetic beauty triumphs the storytelling.

BY freshdude superstar

If you love classic European cinema, if you are fed up with fast editing, over the top special effects and meaningless plots ... well, you probably will love IDA. This slow paced character study is visually stunning, and that's every single frame of it. It is an engrossing tale told simply and beautifully. Go see it.

BY Brian1 superstar

Interesting wee story, tended to drag a little, but I really did love shots artistry. Tremendous b& w photography that proved a major contributor to the experience.

The Press Reviews

98% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Devoid of color and mirth... just the sort of joyless art film one might expect Polish nuns living under the clutches of 1960s communism to appreciate. Full Review

  • Frame by frame, Ida looks resplendently bleak, its stunning monochromes combining with the inevitable gloomy Polish weather and communist-era deprivations to create a harsh, unforgiving environment. Full Review

  • It is austere, it's beautiful, but I don't know that I completely get all that Pawlikowski is trying to say with this. Full Review

  • Ida’s piercing intimacy makes the deepest impression, but its vision is deceptively wide-reaching despite a scale that’s deliberately pared-down and small. Full Review

  • Every moment of Ida feels intensely personal. It is a small gem, tender and bleak, funny and sad, superbly photographed in luminous monochrome. Full Review

  • Within its relatively brief duration and its narrow black-and-white frames, the movie somehow contains a cosmos of guilt, violence and pain. Full Review