The wrong film to pick if you suffer from A.D.D. So this is about a nun in her final days before she takes her vows. Her superior encourages her to do a little bit of soul searching before she gives the final commitment, and this focuses on her discovering a dark family secret during her time away. To give credit to the filmmakers, I was initially blown away with what I saw from Ida. The cinematography took my breath away, as it is shot in striking 4:3 black and white. Just from a brief amount of time looking at the shot composition, you’re going to be impressed; even if you don’t typically look for that kind of thing, it really is that noteworthy. You’re immediately astonished from out of the gates, so you start gearing up for something special… only you soon get hit with a slow paced story that is difficult to connect with.
Ever since Philomena, I’ve had an inherent distrust towards nuns.
This is in some ways the Polish Winter’s Bone; you’ve got this girl in the middle of nowhere, travelling around, trying to obtain some information. I had trouble getting into that movie as well, and I know my attention isn’t the best in the world, but I was getting all sorts of antsy watching this, and it is barely 80 minutes long. This just feels so padded out and stretched, and it’s actually a really simple story, it just takes forever to tell. For example, the climax to this story occurs at the 55-minute mark, but then the story peters out for the remaining 25 minutes for hardly any reason. It’s just an inefficiently told story, and its five-star cinematography can only take it so far.
Why so serious?
This really seems like Ida was made with the intent of replicating an Ingmar Bergman film. It has the same exact tangible feel, and the photography to match. That said, I do think this is style over substance, and with so much attention to detail going to the beautiful cinematography, I really wish the actual story was more accessible. I don’t want to go so far to use the word “pretentious”, as it is a word that is difficult to nail down to a specific dictionary definition, but this pushes it right to the edge, and so much of this film I felt like I had just had my time wasted.
Ida (2013) **
– Critic for Hire