Starring: Agata Trzebuchowska, Agata Kulesza

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski

Rating: 4/5

Ida was one of the standout films at the BFI London Film Festival twelve months ago, and this week it has hit the big screen.

Ida was named Best Film at the festival and it is a movie that is not to be missed and is totally different to anything that his hit the big screen so far this September.

Ida is a movie that is a coming of age tale that explores the ideas of identity and faith, and sees Pawel Pawlikowski back in the director's chair.

Pawlikowski has brought us movies such as The Stinger and documentary Serbian Epics during his career, and Ida is his first film since The Woman in the Fifth back in 2011.

Anna (Trzebuchowska) is a shy teenage orphan who is on the verge of taking her nuns vows. But before she does, she is encouraged to meet her only living relative: her aunt Wanda (Kulesza). Wanda reveals to Anna that her real name is Ida and she and her family are Jewish.

The pair set off on a trip through Poland as they try to uncover the secrets of their family, and discover each other in the process.

Ida is one of those movies where everything comes together; a terrific script is brought to life by wonderful actors, while they are back up by some beautiful and sharp direction.

Ida is a beautiful movie, despite that fact that it explores the darkness of the Holocaust, and Pawlikowski's work really does have to be applauded.

He has made the pace deliberately slow, as he builds up the tension frame-by-frame and moment by moment. Not a single frame is wasted by the director as he reveals so much by just sticking with the two central characters and exploring their stories.

Trzebuchowska delivers a terrific central performance as Anna/Ida a young woman whose world is turned upside down by the revelations of her past. Religion is a place where she seems safe and she continues to pray and wear her religious clothing.

Yet her silence makes her a fascinating character, as you never quite know if she is denying or accepting the truths that she uncovers: quite often, her silence is more powerful than any words.

Kulesza is equally fantastic in the role of Wanda, a woman who tries to masks the pain of the past with alcohol and sex. She is a character with her own demons, demons that she is finally forced to face up to and deal with.

Pawlikowski really has created a very beautiful looking movie - each frame really has been lovingly and exquisitely put together. This is one that is not to be missed this week.

Ida is out now.

by for
find me on and follow me on