Write descriptive essay about Ida movie 2013, write an essay of at least 500 words on Ida, 5 paragraph essay on Ida, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
Ida
Year:
2013
Country:
UK, France, Poland, Denmark
Genre:
Drama
IMDB rating:
7.4
Director:
Pawel Pawlikowski
Jerzy Trela as Szymon
Mariusz Jakus as Barman
Jan Wociech Poradowski as Father Andrew
Artur Janusiak as Policeman
Afrodyta Weselak as Marysia
Agata Kulesza as Wanda
Storyline: Poland, 1962. Anna, an orphan brought up by nuns in the convent, is a novice. She has to see Wanda, the only living relative, before she takes her vows. Wanda tells Anna about her Jewish roots. Both women start a journey not only to find their family's tragic story, but to see who they really are and where they belong. They question what they used to believe in.
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Reviews
No emotional connection to these characters
I went into this movie with mixed expectations. Since it just won the 2014 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, I was expecting greatness. But since I am not a huge fan of art movies, I expected that my "simple taste" would not be served well. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to like the film, I just did not.

The story is set in early 1960s Poland. The lead character, Anna, is in a convent (and has been since she was abandoned during WWII) and is about to undertake her vows. Before she can do so, the Mother Superior requires her to travel to visit her sole living relative, Aunt Wanda. At first Aunt Wanda is cold and distant. Then, without any reason, Aunt Wanda warms up to Anna and offers to take her to find her buried parents. The majority of the movie then follows these two to discover how the parents were killed and where they are buried. Along the way, secrets are discovered and Anna's destiny is brought into question.

Shot in black and white, the cinematography is wonderful even though the scenes are barren and sparse. The dialog is also barren and sparse, which is my main problem. The viewer knows what is going on as the road trip unfolds, but the 2 main characters make dramatic choices which do not seem consistent with their prior acts. And nothing in the dialog indicates the possibility of these strange choices, thereby leaving the viewer to fill in way too many blanks. While many people laud the quiet in this movie, I found the lack of interaction (verbal and otherwise) between the characters to be uninteresting. As such, while I thought the story had potential, nothing in this film created or even tried to create any emotional connection between me and the characters. And without that connection, the viewer just leaves the film wanting some more than what he/she saw.

To see my other movie reviews, please visit:

https://nomorewastedmovienights.wordpress.com
2015-02-27
An half-religious half-road trip
The reason I watched this film was to find out why it has got so much praise. And the length - 1 hour 15 minutes - was also OK... As for black-and-white, it was not annoying (usually I am too much into colour films, excl. those of Chaplin and Lloyd, for example), but provided a good emphasis on general mood and miserable environment in post- Stalinist Poland. Well, all socialist countries looked gray and untidy.

Direction and cinematography are very good, but the plot is too thin and tedious, there is no real intrigue as I could guess almost all its elements, including the trivial ending. Potential hesitations were depicted narrowly, and a lot of silent scenes were dedicated to Catholicism - suitable to Poland, but rather uninviting for me. As for acting, then Agata Kulesza as Wanda Gruz is great indeed, but the rest - just good, not memorable.

All in all, a static telecast rather than a film with witty angles. Art for film's sake - or vice versa.
2014-12-23
"digital from start to finish"
Well, my friend, it wasn't digital from start to finish. It was shot on 35mm film, then scanned and finished digitally. You can see the film grain quite nicely there.

Just that you know.

Let that alone, I have to totally agree with you, as the camera was spectacular. I loved the "one third" compositions, but I have to admit, that once I started to recognize the style, I started to hate it at the and.

Still a beautiful piece, I especially loved the edit – that everything is told in last 20 minutes or so.
2015-01-13
The Fraility of Belief
Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski's new film IDA is visually stunning. I am a painter whose work deals with light and color; this film extrudes color out of infinite blacks, grays, and whites culminating in a blinding silver light. The poetry of tonal form in synch with the secrets of the unknown, contrasting the innocence of spiritual isolation with the realities of political ideologies has a streaming effect on the bloodlines of our interior selves.

We meet Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska in a beautifully understated performance) - a novitiate nun running through the snow with her "sisters" lightly carrying a statue of Jesus Christ, which is gently lowered into a circular crevice in front of the Convent where Anna has been sheltered for the past 18-20 years, having been brought there as an orphan when she was an infant in the early 1940's. The time is now 1962 and the place is Poland under Communist rule.

Before taking her vows, Anna follows the advice of the Mother Superior to visit her only living relative, an aunt who over the years has never attempted to contact her. Anna's simple, spare, and silent world, where the love of God consummated her every need, leaves the Monastery for the first time, braving surroundings that are antithetical to the tranquillity and stoicism that she is accustomed to.

As soon as Anna meets her mother's sister, Aunt Wanda, a once beautiful woman, now disheveled, wearily smoking, a drink sloshing in her hand,a man in partial undress glimpsed in the back room, Anna is told that her real name is Ida and that she is Jewish - a shocking revelation, but Anna/Ida's response to this news is barely perceptible. Her lovely face never reveals private intimate turmoil. Agata Kulesza is excellent as Wanda who we get to know as brutally honest and uncompromising - a Communist state functionary - an ex-prosecutor who is now a Judge living with having made desperate life decisions that are remorselessly haunting - a woman attempting to survive anguished memories.

IDA becomes an intimate existential road trip, so authentically filmed that the ambiance of the subsistence countryside envelops us with its rough beauty, The two women attempt to uncover the secrets of their horrific past living under Nazi occupied rule, and the ramifications of being a Jew in a country where the innocent were literally slaughtered because of fascist ideology, often with the compliance of their fellow human beings. We witness history unfolding a generation later - the same country now under totalitarian Communist rule.

Anna/Ida during this short period of time is faced with choices that affect the very essence of her understanding of the outside world, beyond her previously cloistered life, questioning the ecstatic power of faith vs.the banality of everyday existence.
2015-02-25
Amazing movie, amazing technique, acting, music, and story
Ida was a dark somber tragic story expressed perfectly in film.

I am not a big fan of black and white "art" movies done for effect, except the old black and white movies, but Ida was filmed so perfectly, and the stark black and white was so integral to the story and feeling of the movie it was really perfect.

I am not a big fan of jazz either, but again, the choice of Coltrane's jazz music for parts of this film really let you feel what jazz is all about, it was beautiful.

The story was of an orphan nun who is preparing to take her final vows to God. The Mother Superior calls her in and tells her about who she is. Ida grew up not knowing her name or anything about her family. Ida finds that she has an aunt nearby and is told to go to see her before taking her vows.

The slow, heavy and deliberate pace of the movie express the story so perfectly, and there is no pandering or cheap shots, the movie is beautifully done. This is a story that is not for everyone, or every time, but I am glad it was made and that I saw it.

I have to give it a 10/10 for pure craftsmanship and cinematic perfection.
2014-05-24
Unbelievable disappointment
I had wanted to watch this for a long time, and was prompted by the Oscar, but it turned out to be a total disappointment. The shootings were terrible -half the movie you see the grey sky and the top of the heads of the characters, feeling like wanting to pull down the screen - I think that was a useless and meaningless way of filming. Besides, even if the story could have been interesting, it turned out to be partially easy to guess. As compared to other movies that ran into the competition for thee Oscar for a foreign movie, this is far below any expectations for a true lover of any cinema, especially European. On the other hand it's a pity, as the two female characters play well.
2015-03-14
Few new revelations in Polish post-Holocaust melodrama as 'The Song of Bernadette' meets 'The Pawnbroker'
'Ida' is Polish director Pawil Palikowski's latest contribution to the canon of Holocaust and post-Holocaust 'dramaturgy'. Lasting a brief 80 minutes, 'Ida' is shot in bleak black and white and has been likened to the style of the French New Wave and their iconic 'progenitor', Robert Bresson. The film has garnered one accolade after another and one has to search far and wide before digging up any significant critical commentary. Nonetheless, I will join those few who refuse to jump on the proverbial bandwagon, and praise this film as if it's the second coming of 'Grand Illusion'.

Set in Soviet-controlled Poland in 1962, 'Ida' is the tale of Anna, a young woman who has lived in a convent all her life and on the verge of taking her vows as a nun. Before allowing her to prepare for the ordination, the mother superior informs Anna (who has been sheltered her entire life) to meet her long-lost aunt, ignoring the fact that such a meeting could be quite traumatizing.

Nonetheless, given the extraordinary nature of Anna's parentage, the mother superior perhaps believes that meeting the aunt would be the proper thing to do, vis-à-vis the Church. It turns out that Anna's birth name was Ida Lebenstein and she was the lone survivor of a Jewish family murdered during the Holocaust. This information is confided to her by her Aunt Wanda, who never revealed her identity to her niece, in all the years she was at the convent.

The Ida plot concerns Ida's quest to learn the fate of her parents and their final resting place. The contrast between the idealistic Ida and cynical, jaded Wanda, couldn't have been put more succinctly put, when a sarcastic Wanda describes the difference between the two, to Anna: "I'm the slut and you're the saint!"

On the surface, Wanda appears to be a character we haven't seen before: a former state prosecutor, now working as a Judge in a post-Stalinist Poland, who also happens to be Jewish. But despite her semi-prominent position in the Communist party, nothing can help her feel better about herself. In addition to occasionally having indiscriminate dalliances with men, she also has a bad drinking problem. In one telling scene, she's arrested for drunk driving and pulls rank on the local police official who has been processing the arrest, threatening severe repercussions, which could lead to his dismissal (or perhaps something far worse).

Wanda's self-destructive attitude is similar to the character Sol Nazerman, played by Rod Steiger in the 1965 Post-Holocaust drama, 'The Pawnbroker'. Both are 'damaged goods' as a result of their experiences during the Holocaust. Nazerman becomes a total misanthrope but Wanda expresses her contempt through her sarcasm. One reviewer (Dennis Schwartz) aptly describes 'The Pawnbroker' as "an unpleasant, solemn and overwrought melodrama about an embittered Jewish Holocaust survivor." This description can also be applied to Wanda. The problem with Palikowski's strategy here is that he wants credit for merely pointing out the OBVIOUS: the Holocaust was a terrible thing and in some cases, had immense, deleterious effects on the survivors. And Palikowski goes further by attempting to manipulate our emotions by having his one-note character (SUPER SPOILERS AHEAD), jump out the window (in effect, Palikowski can't resist 'hitting us over the head', by again stating the obvious: 'you see how bad it was for Holocaust survivors! She even jumped out the window!).

Just as plenty of Jewish people will find this dour portrait of survivor guilt to be obvious (and perhaps heavy-handed), those of Polish heritage may feel equally short-changed. With any good melodrama, you cannot have a tragic victim without a sinister villain. The skimpy way, however, in which Palikowski references the Holocaust may play into a simplistic notion of collective responsibility for Polish anti-semitism during and after World War II. But there were indeed isolated acts of Polish people attempting to help Jews during the Nazi Occupation as well as many Polish victims themselves, at the hands of the Nazis.

After searching for the father, Anna and Wanda discover that it was the son who murdered Anna's family. All we know that he's a villain who killed the family to take over the deed to the house. The narrative suffers from the lack of development of a complex antagonist as we never really get to know much about the son or the rest of the family. Instead, the incident is used to simply explain Wanda's guilt (the revelation of how Wanda's son--who she gave to her sister--is murdered, is perhaps the last straw, that leads her to do herself in!) as well as raising another issue: Anna's decision to forgive her family's murderer (she agrees not to contest the claim to the property in exchange to finding out where her family is buried!).

As for how Palikowski resolves Anna's issues can be interpreted in differing ways. I found it difficult to believe that Anna would suddenly give into her carnal desires given her sheltered upbringing. It makes for a good movie to have a love scene, but the odds that such an idealistic woman would suddenly 'come of age' (albeit so briefly), remains questionable. Does Anna's decision to return to her faith represent a triumph for her—a sticking to one's guns, so to speak? In my view, Palikowski wants us to view her return to the church as a second tragedy. Note how she so flippantly dismisses her lover's idyllic picture of the future. For Anna, marriage and family life can only lead to a mundane existence; so a return to cloistered life, now appears mandatory.

'Ida' is replete with powerful visual images and raises important questions about faith, guilt and forgiveness. This is all at the expense of important character development as well as a tendency toward melodramatic excess. In short, I wanted more.
2014-06-05
Slow, but decent
Polish laureate for this year's best foreign-language movie in Kodak theater isn't a bad movie. It is slow, but it isn't a bad one. There were better ones (Georgian "Tangerines" and Spanish "Wild tales"), but there were also some worse flicks (Russian "Leviathan").

"Ida" is Pawel Pawlikowski's artistic expression in black and white and retro 4:3 format that follows young nun on her journey through inner transformation and exploration of the past time tragedy in the family. There is almost no music throughout the movie and the dialogs are stark. Agata Trzebukowska is doing fine as the leading role, while the other characters are only sketches in the somehow empty script.

To summarize, "Ida" is a slow, decent and a bit over prized movie.
2015-03-24
Pawlikowski's Polish or Jewish joke
The character of Wanda is based on real person Helena Wolińska who was a military prosecutor in postwar Poland involved in Stalinist regime show trials of the 1950s. She had on her conscience cos she died a life of Poland's wartime general Emil August Fieldorf "Nil", commander of the underground Polish Home Army during World War II. Fieldorf was executed, following a show-trial, and buried in a secret location. Until today no one found his body. Now it is the time in Poland that we find thousands of Polish "coursed soldiers" killed by Wolinska and like her who were buried in secret not even telling their families that they were killed. Fildorf "Nil"'s daughter died few years ago never to find father's body. After 60 years we find our heroes with sculls with bullet holes. Pawlikowski befriended her that is Wolinska and her husband Wlodzimierz Brus another commie when they lived happily in Oxford. Of course they were Jews if someone doesn't know In the movie Wanda show her cousin photos of lost Jewish family members killed by Germans or Polish peasants as Pawlikowski wants. For not Polish viewer the photos say nothing, but if you look closely you can find in one of the photos photo of Irena Sendler. She of course is very well known for working for Żegota children section during Warsaw ghetto. She was a gentile. In such a way Pawlikowski has made Sendler communist murderer's relative. If Polish relative of those killed by such Wolinska and likes see this movie 'a knife itself open in a pocket" as we say.
2015-03-06
Simple Yet Effective Film
"Ida" is a novitiate taking her vows soon in order to be a nun. In fact, she was left there as a baby. All she knows of the world is her convent and sisters who raised her. They named her Anna. The only blood kin is an aunt who doesn't really want anything to do with her. She is told in order to fulfill her vows she has to contact her aunt. Against her will, she meets her. At first, the aunt closes the door in her face but then takes her in begrudgingly. Ida is told her real name, that she is Jewish and that her parents were killed. In searching for her past and more answers, she tries to find where they were buried. Together they go on a quest and together they learn things about each other. The aunt tells her that she needs to try to live and to do everything once.The climax comes when Ida leaves to go back to the convent, but the aunt feeling her life empty compared to Ida, jumps out her window. When Ida hears about this, we see her drinking, in bed with a guy, and trying to feel a bit of life that others have. But ultimately she returns to the convent in the last frame. This is a very simple, straightforward story told in black and white. The fate of being placed in the convent as a baby, the comparisons of lives, the lack of desire of possessions and lust all come together in this very direct, well made Oscar-winning production. Having said all that, I was a little disappointed with it. Despite its somber subject matter and black-and-white cinematography, it didn't have the dramatic impact of "A Separation" or "The White Ribbon." But "Ida" certainly made think. In that, the movie succeeds.
2015-03-10
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