Rated 3.0

Raised by nuns under the name of Anna, the meek teenage title character Ida (Agata Trzebuchowska) is prepared to take her vows as writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski's film opens. She is first sent to visit her last living relative, a damaged woman who holds a disturbing family secret. Ida is an examination of complicity and forgiveness, but like Pawlikowski's 2004 My Summer of Love, it's also a coming-of-age story. Anna is making her first and possibly last entry into a world of temptation and corruption, and her commitment to a lifestyle of asceticism and blind faith is challenged. Pawlikowski has no problem committing to rigid asceticism, and while that monastic restraint is one of his strengths, it is also a weakness. For all of the film's delicately structured character arcs and hushed visual poetry, Ida never completely connects, and Pawlikowski's cinematic reserve often feels arid and passionless.