Film Review | Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski

ida dvd coverIda has grown up an orphan in a convent in Poland. She is known there as Anna and her only living relative, an aunt, has let on she has no interest in meeting the girl. Just before taking her vows to become a nun, Ida is forced to visit her aunt. Together the two women find a common bond in the family members they have lost. They confront the ugly Holocaust history as they search for the remains of their Jewish family.

After seeing the preview, I was expecting this movie to be really good. The entire film is in black and white and I have to admit, rather slow moving. Though the story told in the film is a touching one, the characters are not developed enough for the viewer to actually be touched by the story. I was surprised by other viewers’ positive responses to this film. On the whole there is not too much acting and the film is a bit flat. That said, I did enjoy Agata Trzebuchowska‘s performance as Ida and hope to see her in other upcoming films. This film may be better suited for those with some kind of personal connection to the subject matter. Check out Ida from a library near you.

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Film Review | Philomena with Judi Dench & Steve Coogan

 

dvd cover Philomena with Judi Dench & Steve CooganBased on a true story, Philomena relays the tale of a mother in search of her child 50 years after his international adoption. The film revolves around two main characters, Philomena Lee, played by Judi Dench, and Martin Sixsmith, played by Steve Coogan, and the voyage they embark on together. Philomena has gotten on in years and constantly wonders about what happened to a son she gave birth to 50 years before who was taken away from her as a boy. Recently out of a job and feeling down, Sixsmith decides to hear Philomena’s story with the intention of turning it into a human interest piece for the newspaper. The two began their relationship visiting the Irish convent where Philomena gave birth and was more or less enslaved for several years after the nuns placed her son with a new family overseas against her will.

This film really impressed me. The heartfelt tale was met with superb acting, believable conflict and true insight. The story may have you in tears, but if you can handle that and want to see a great film, check out Philomena from your local library. For another layer, read the 2009 book Philomena : a mother, her son, and a fifty-year search by Martin Sixsmith, first published in Great Britain as The Lost Child of Philomena Lee