Ida review

An orphan explores her past

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After disappointing Woman In The Fifth , Pawel Pawlikowski returns to his native Poland – and to form – to tell this deeply personal, consummately crafted tale. Set in the early ’60s, evocatively recreated in smoky monochrome, it centres on Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska), an orphaned nun. Her world’s turned upside down after meeting her free-spirited Aunt (Agata Kulesza); together, they go on a journey to explore Anna’s background.

They make for the oddest of couples, but Pawlikowski paints his world with disarmingly delicate brushstrokes.

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Freelance writer

James Mottram is a freelance film journalist, author of books that dive deep into films like Die Hard and Tenet, and a regular guest on the Total Film podcast. You'll find his writings on GamesRadar+ and Total Film, and in newspapers and magazines from across the world like The Times, The Independent, The i, Metro, The National, Marie Claire, and MindFood.