Ooo, this was to the deadline this month! I watched Ida just last night after a crazy busy April. This is probably a really good thing as it’s fresh in my mind and I have a lot I want to say about this film. Let’s jump right into the Ida review.
So I picked this film because it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and the equivalent BAFTA. Pretty good accolades by all accounts. But then about 10 minutes into watching, I remembered how awards like this so frequently work. My ‘pretence-o-meter’ was at an all time high, and, of course, when it comes to award ceremonies, it often seems the more pretentious your film, the better chance of winning. This film has that.
But I want to rewind a bit. I would estimate less than 5 minutes in to the film, I was getting a serious case of déja vu. If you read the Blog en Español series, you’ll know that recently I wrote about Luis Buñuel and the incredible story of the film Viridiana. For those of you who don’t know, I’ll give you a little introduction…
Viridiana is a nun about to take her vows who gets told she must visit her uncle, her only living relative.
Now let’s look at the introduction to Ida…
Ida is a young nun about to take her vows who gets told she must visit her aunt, her only living relative.
Woah woah WOAH. Do not pass go, do not collect £200. Having seen Viridiana just weeks before and absolutely falling in love with the film and its real-life story, I was instantly discouraged from enjoying Ida. No-one can imitate Buñuel! So my wall was up. I didn’t want to like it – hence my heightened pretence-o-meter a few more minutes in.
Granted, the two stories do diversify from that point but the comparison was laid in my mind, and I love Viridiana so much that Ida barely stood a chance at making an impact on me.
That said, the cinematography is beautiful in places and there are some shots that would make amazing photographs. Also the actress who plays Ida has a STUNNING face for black and white. She reminded me of Yolandi from Die Antwoord (I’m still obsessed with trying to understand those guys after seeing Chappie). However, in my opinion, the long lingering (dare I say, lazy?) shots distract from what could be a powerful film.
So in short, I get why it won the awards, but for me, the film was lacking something and I couldn’t connect with it, which sucked because I really wanted to.
To pick things up a little, next month’s film is much more fast-paced: Lola Rennt, or Run Lola Run in English. I have seen this film before, but it’s been a while and I’m sure once I return from Berlin (more on that on Wednesday!) I’ll be in the mood for a little German. Also, there’s not yet been a German film as part of World Cinema Club. So what better time to have one than now?
To give you a little taste, here’s the best trailer YouTube had to offer. I promise the film does actually have people speaking German in it!
Have you seen Ida? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.