Basically, this is what Ida should be classified as. The foreign film from Poland up for Best Foreign Language Film and Achievement in Cinematography seems to be nothing more than a collection of fantastic still shots. They are, indeed, fantastic. In fact, many of them I commented out loud that I could see them hanging on my wall. I also took note that this director focused much more on capturing the frame, as a whole, rather than worry about the actors. The actors simply walked in and out of the frame.
Perhaps this explains the latter nomination for Ida. It’s a noteworthy shooting style, something that caught my attention, produced a reaction and stuck with me for days after seeing it. But for the same reason, I can’t justify the other nod. Because the characters seemed so minuscule amidst this storyteller’s work, I didn’t really feel anything for them. The nun who meets her aunt and travels a short road of self discovery prior to taking her vow seemed like another stab at Philomena – one not nearly as funny, endearing or emotional. I get the message, but I appreciate the look of this film a whole lot more than I do the plot. In my opinion (and I already know those of you who strikingly disagree), this would have made more sense as a coffee table book.
Let’s see what else you got, Poland.