The Movie Snob sounds off on a foreign flick.
Ida (A-). The first movie I ever saw Emily Blunt in was a little movie called My Summer of Love. It was directed by Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski, and I thought it was decent but not great. This new Pawlikowski movie, on the other hand, I liked a lot—it’s probably my favorite 2014 release so far. It’s set in Poland in the early 1960s. A young woman named Anna is a nun who is approaching the time to take her final vows. But her Mother Superior insists that Anna must first go visit her only surviving relative, an aunt named Wanda who refused to take Anna in while Anna was growing up in an orphanage. Wanda, a bitter and cynical Communist apparatchik, gradually tells Anna (whose real name, unbeknownst to her, is Ida) the story of their family, and the two go on a road trip to fill in the gaps that are unknown even to Wanda. It’s a somber movie, accented by the director’s choice to shoot in black and white. But I thought it was really well done, far surpassing My Summer of Love, and even better than the director’s very good 2000 release Last Resort, about an abandoned Russian woman who seeks asylum in England. Check it out.