Thursday, 21 May 2015

I've Just Seen: Ida (2013)

Ida (2013)

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Writers: Pawel Pawlikowski, Rebecca Lenkiewicz

I had been looking forward to seeing Ida; not only had it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, it had good reviews, and the clips I had seen looked beautiful. And it is absolutely beautiful to look at. The black and white cinematography is cold and stark, yet also has a gentle glow at times, particular when close-up on Agata Trzebuchowska's face; her sharp, dark eyes peer out of her serene soft features. The framing of shots was also interesting; many times characters were placed in the bottom right quarter, leaving the rest of the frame empty of action or movement. The two central characters, Ida and her Aunt Wanda were very well acted by the two Agatas.

You may have noticed I have said nothing about the actual story. I was left wanting to know more about the characters, and not in a 'good' way; I felt that we didn't really know much about characters inner lives. Considering the film's short running length (around 80 mins) I thought that more time could have been taken to delve a bit deeper; particularly when Ida meets her aunt and learns a secret about herself. Because I didn't feel completely connected to the characters, the story's revelations were not as breath-taking as they may have been. This distance is deliberate (I think), and the film's only real flaw; but for me it is a big one.

Ida was this week's film choice at my 'local' film club. I am glad I got to see this film on a large screen. Definitely see it, particular if you appreciate the beauty of black and white cinematography.

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