Ida movie poster
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Ida
Ida movie poster

Ida Movie Review

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Ida has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is summarized as "Empathetically written, splendidly acted, and beautifully photographed... to powerful effect." The movie's also sort of boring.

Shot in 4:3 black-and-white to make things look fancy or sophisticated or something, Ida is about a hot young Polish nun who, on the verge of taking her vows, travels to meet the aunt she never knew. There she learns a dark secret about her family's past, which in turn opens her eyes to life outside the convent.

Meaning she discovers jazz and cute boys.

But really, not a lot happens. Ida is about this young woman's journey, and she does have quite the journey (side note: there is no one in the movie named Ida; the main character is Anna). But just because her character arc is subtle and nuanced doesn't mean I have to rave about it simply due to it being shot in black-and-white, having subtitles and being so quiet at times you might forget a movie is even playing in front of you.

Ida features strong performances by Agata Kulesza and newcomber Agata Trzebuchowska. Trzebuchowska, who plays Anna the hot young Polish nun, is especially good. The story is mildly interesting, and while the 4:3 ratio, black-and-white photography feels like a gimmick, the movie is well shot by Pawlikowski.

At only 80 minutes, Ida is a quick watch, but the short run time is revealing: there just isn't a lot of meat to the movie. Not a lot happens—at least not a lot of interesting things—and when the film ends, all you can do is shrug.

Ida is by no means poorly made, but its nuanced approach is also a boring approach.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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