Not that any of the characters are joyous per se. This is 1960’s Soviet-Bloc Poland, after all. But the main characters do seem to float above the fray.
Now you might assume that a movie under this setting would to some extent be about the oppression of life under communist rule — think 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days and Barbara for recent examples on this theme. But Ida could almost just as well have been set in France or Italy — communism is not essential to the story at all. Indeed, Ida is not about oppression, communist or otherwise. Rather, it is about uplifting light.
This movie has received universal praise and holds a 95% Tomatometer score. Dana Stevens, Slate:
There’s an urgency to Ida’s simple, elemental story that makes it seem timely, or maybe just timeless.
Riveting, original and breathtakingly accomplished on every level, “Ida” would be a masterpiece in any era, in any country.
Every frame by beautiful black & white square frame captivates in Ida. A joyous movie; second-best of the year so far, behind only Under the Skin. 9/10