Ida Image
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 100 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.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Godfrey Cheshire
    May 2, 2014
    100
    Riveting, original and breathtakingly accomplished on every level, Ida would be a masterpiece in any era, in any country.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    May 22, 2014
    100
    One of the year's gems.
  3. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Dec 16, 2014
    100
    This compact masterpiece has the curt definition and the finality of a reckoning—a reckoning in which anger and mourning blend together.
  4. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jun 11, 2014
    89
    There’s a definite austerity to the storytelling, which is enhanced by the crisp black-and-white cinematography by Łukasz Żal and Ryszard Lenczewski.
  5. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    Apr 29, 2014
    83
    If it does suffer slightly from an overall lack of urgency that will mean those looking for a more directly emotive experience may find it hard to engage with, the more patient viewer has rewards in store that are rich and rare indeed.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 29, 2014
    80
    Agata Kulesza is pitch-perfect as the tortured aunt, weighed down by years of shame and sorrow. In a quieter but equally impactful role is newcomer Agata Trzebuchowska as Ida, a character defined by a quiet, rigid stoicism but who, with her cherubic face, engenders great empathy.
  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 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 29
  2. Negative: 5 out of 29
  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.
    Expand
  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. Feb 10, 2015
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One of Polish cinema's most engaging recent outings, "Ida" is the beautifully shot, slow burning story of a young nun about to take her vows, but seeking one final engagement with the outside world, finding both answers to the murders of her parents and the realisation that the world beyond the convent offers her little future. Well played and maid, "Ida" is a must for fans of Polish cinema. Expand
  5. Jul 30, 2014
    8
    Saw this at the Music Box Theater in Chicago. Perhaps it was the theater that helped (a wonderful one if you have the chance to visit) but ISaw this at the Music Box Theater in Chicago. Perhaps it was the theater that helped (a wonderful one if you have the chance to visit) but I was very pleasantly surprised by IDA. This film has a subtle style about it. It takes place in the early sixties (roughly) and specifically follows the cultural momentum of the relevant jazz music at the time, notably Coltrane. This helps to create a wonderful environment around the occurrences of the story.

    Also, the interplay between the two main characters, Ida and her aunt, is very well done.

    Definitely watch this one

    8/10
    Expand
  6. Sep 11, 2014
    6
    I have to say I was more than a little curious when I read the storyline. But the film, as it unfolds is just okay!
    Not on my list of
    I have to say I was more than a little curious when I read the storyline. But the film, as it unfolds is just okay!
    Not on my list of recommendations!
    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 29 User Reviews

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