Ida Image
Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 115 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Poland, 1962. Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska), an eighteen-year-old novitiate nun is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    May 2, 2014
    100
    There’s an urgency to Ida’s simple, elemental story that makes it seem timely, or maybe just timeless.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    May 22, 2014
    100
    Ida reaches spiritual depth through affecting performances rendered in sublime black-and-white compositions.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 9, 2015
    100
    Ida is an art film in the finest sense of the term — it is austere technique counterbalanced by emotions that bleed.
  4. Reviewed by: Aaron Cutler
    Apr 29, 2014
    90
    Ida unfolds partly as chamber play and partly as road movie, following the two women on a search for their dead beloveds' anonymous graves.
  5. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    May 1, 2014
    83
    Over an efficient 80 minutes, no shot feels wasted, and no one says much that couldn’t be better communicated through their placement in the artfully arranged frame.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hughes
    Sep 22, 2014
    80
    Pawlikowski has a photographer’s eye for composition, and every crisp, monochrome frame could be a postcard from Poland’s tragic, turbulent past.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Apr 29, 2014
    60
    It’s one thing to set up a striking black-and-white composition and quite another to draw people into it, and dialing things back as much as this film does risks losing the vast majority of viewers along the way, offering an intellectual exercise in lieu of an emotional experience to all but the most rarefied cineastes.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 6 out of 30
  1. Jan 4, 2015
    10
    Ida is the story of a young girl living in a convent who is about to take her vows to become a nun. But she needs to visit her only relative,Ida is the story of a young girl living in a convent who is about to take her vows to become a nun. But she needs to visit her only relative, her aunt, before devoting herself to life-long chastity and poverty. When she goes to visit her aunt, she realizes that her childhood story is much deeper and elaborate than what she has been told. Her one day visit to her aunt soon turns into a long journey to discover her past and to reconcile with it. Ida's mom is not alive anymore but Ida resembles her in appearance and acts, which makes Ida's aunt takes Ida's love into her heart immediately.

    In one scene they are looking at old family pictures. Her aunt is telling her that her Mom once made a fancy stained glass for the cows to make them happy. Next day when they go see the glass, she adds, “That's Roza, fancy stained glass next to cow **** That is in essence Ida's life (or at least how her aunt sees it). Ida is a precious marvel surrounded in a terrible world. Her heart is strong and big but preoccupy with religious dogmas that does not let her enjoy her life.

    Ida never been anywhere, but she knows more than everybody else about life. Her aunt is “tenacious” but Ida is the one who handles difficult situations and makes the tough decisions. Ida looks naive but she talks, decides and acts wisely and firmly. You may or may not agree with her (I totally disagree with her) nonetheless you cannot help but to approve her decisions. She does not talk much but when she does, she hunts you. One of the key dialogues in the movie is this one:

    Boy: Ever been to the seaside?
    Ida: I haven't been anywhere.
    Boy: Come along then... You'll listen to us play, we will walk on the beach.
    Ida: And then?
    Boy: Then we will buy a dog, get married, have children, get a house.
    Ida: And then?
    Boy: [long silence]

    She shakes your core values with her simple short questions (E.g. “And then?”). It seems she does not know anything about life–she is a nun after all who grow up in an isolated convent in a village and hasn't been anywhere else–but unlike everyone else, she knows what she wants to do with her life. Everyone else is just part of a herd following the shepherd blindly. She is the “fancy glass”, everyone else is the “cow ****”.

    Everyone in this movie is depicted as a human, no more, no less. They all have strengths and they all crumble from time to time. Even the darkest characters in the movie still have a white spot left on their slate. Ida's aunt is a well-known “tenacious” prosecutor but sometimes she is clueless and desperate. The farmer's son is devoid of emotions and empathy but he shows mercy to Ida. Ida is a nun but she seeks carnal pleasure.

    Director Pawel Pawlikowski does something in 82 minutes that others directors need 3 hours to do. His camera does not move much except in the last scene because in this scene Ida is the center of the universe, she is the one that is carrying the world. She is walking on a road, the camera is facing her. It does not show where she is going because Ida is confident about what is going to happen next, it vaguely shows where she has been. She does not turn to look back because for Ida the past belongs to the past.

    The cinematography in this movie is exceptional. Every single frame in the movie is shot so artfully that it has the potential to feature on a magazine cover. All the shots from the character faces, all the catch lights in their eyes, the composition and the light vindicate to a cinematographer with absolute mastery. One of my favorites scenes in the movies is a shot a of a man digging a grave. The lights, the shadows, the dirt texture, and his facial expression all are phenomenally captured in this shot.

    Ida is a must see movie for anyone who loves photography and cinematography, or for anyone who wants to contemplate on life and what we are supposed to do in it, or for anyone who wants to explore the angelic and evil capacities of humans.
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  2. Nov 18, 2014
    10
    Is just amazing what Pawlikowski did with this simple story. The performances are amazing, and the fact that is shooted in black & white givesIs just amazing what Pawlikowski did with this simple story. The performances are amazing, and the fact that is shooted in black & white gives this movie something amazing. Poland's entry for the Academy Awards is worth. Expand
  3. Jun 15, 2014
    10
    A splendid film about subjects done a million times before – coming of age (but this time it’s a young Catholic novice) and the Jewish tragedyA splendid film about subjects done a million times before – coming of age (but this time it’s a young Catholic novice) and the Jewish tragedy of WW2 and its consequences, but in Poland. Done in black and white (yes, with subtitles), each shot was beautifully framed (I kept thinking of early Polanski), the actresses were riveting, and the audience dead silent and totally engaged. This is a deeply emotional gem with a profound sense of existential mystery. Expand
  4. Jan 19, 2015
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This would just be a better than average film without the ending, which gives the entire movie meaning. If you think I might be giving too much away here, stop reading, but I saw the message of the movie being very Buddhist as in all life is suffering and the only acceptable response is to withdraw from life altogether. I'm not saying I agree with the philosophy, but only that's what the movie is saying. Expand
  5. Jan 9, 2015
    7
    A hauntingly beautiful journey of self-discovery into one's roots, as well as into paths taken and not taken. Exquisite black-and-whiteA hauntingly beautiful journey of self-discovery into one's roots, as well as into paths taken and not taken. Exquisite black-and-white cinematography provides a superb means for carrying the narrative of this subtle but profound drama. The director's deft handling of the material delivers an impactful story without ever becoming heavy-handed or maudlin, even in light of the central plot line's circumstances. Expand
  6. Oct 31, 2014
    6
    Before watching this film: Went to see it because of the high critics score.

    Pros: The usual art house type of stuff. Cons: 1. There's
    Before watching this film: Went to see it because of the high critics score.

    Pros: The usual art house type of stuff.

    Cons: 1. There's not much to the story. It's more about the mood and acting. Wish there was more to it. 2. The ending is frustratingly open.

    3/5 (No half scores) - Only good enough to watch on TV.
    Expand
  7. Jan 6, 2015
    0
    Jewish FAKE/ PROPAGANDA and antipolish movie... Cleansing jewish-soviet agent which killed tousend of polish patriots fighting opresiveJewish FAKE/ PROPAGANDA and antipolish movie... Cleansing jewish-soviet agent which killed tousend of polish patriots fighting opresive totalitary system. Self gaining pricez production speeded up by "friends" in movie making busines - mostly jewish. Image style is total crap. Movie is not realy base on true facts but on cleaned version. LEARN real storyline . This production is atumated price gainer coz of jewish conections in movie production busines. Expand

See all 30 User Reviews

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