The race for the Best Foreign Language Oscar is at the early stages of films being chosen by their respective countries. Last week, Turkey weighed in and chose Winter Sleep (or Kis uykusu) as their official submission. The film won the Palme d’Or and FIPRESCI prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Poland has now jumped onto the race choosing Ida by director Pawel Pawlikowski, best known for My Summer of Love (2004) and Last Resort (2000). Currently open in one theater nation-wide, the film currently holds a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Ida already brings in prestige and buzz. Cinematographers Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski were given the Spotlight Award by the American Society of Cinematographers earlier this year while the picture won Best Film at the London Film Festival last year. It was also cited at the Toronto International Film Festival last September with their International Critics’ Award (FIPRESCI).
The prize is awarded to Ida for a layered and humane exploration of issues of religious and personal identity. With its very original, austere yet poetic imagery it brings alive the gravity and grimness of history.
Ida stars Agata Trzebuchowska, in her first film role and Agata Kulesza, who won Best Actress at the Polish Film Awards.
Poland has been nominated in the Best Foreign Language category nine times since its inception in 1956. The last time was in 2011 when Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness was nominated and lost to Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation from Iran. The film is distributed in the U.S. by Music Box Films.
Check the Oscar Tracker to see the film listed under the “Foreign Language” section. The official Oscar Predictions for Best Foreign Language Film will be updated as more films are announced.