[#2015oscardeathrace] Ida (2013)


Director: Pawel Pawlikowski

Cast: Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik

Screenplay: Pawel Pawlikowski, Rebecca Lenkiewicz

82 mins. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and smoking.

  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film of the Year (Awards Not Yet Announced)
  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Achievement in Cinematography (Awards Not Yet Announced)


The foreign language Academy Awards will very likely soon be relegated to an unseen technical award given out before the ceremony. People just don’t care about foreign language films. I happen to find a couple gems each year, but our breed is dying. Maybe the style is unusual to them, or perhaps they are too lazy to read subtitles (this makes me sad), but for whatever reasons, these films are looked over. I was able to get my hands on Ida on Netflix, and it is a different film than I am used to, but that’s why I needed to see it.


Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) is about to take her vows and become a nun, but beforehand, she is sent to meet her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza, Suicide Room, The Mighty Angel) and learn about her parents. What she learns about them opens up her view of life and causes her and her aunt to learn about their vastly different lifestyles.


Ida has a beautiful cinematography to it, colorful in its black-and-white grandeur. The performances of the two Agatas work well together for characters who take on a bit of role reversal in understanding each other. Anna’s journey of discovery is an interesting one, one that I enjoyed taking part in, and her aunt Wanda’s dual-emotional tragedy of a woman who equally embraces her lifestyle and loathes it works well. The film isn’t perfect, but has a tightness to it that flows nicely. Ida may just take away the award this year (the foreign language one, not the cinematography one). So yeah.



-Kyle A. Goethe

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