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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Ida [Blu-ray]


(Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)






Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Canal+ Polska

Video: Artificial Eye / Music Box Films



Region: 'B' / Region 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:21:52.583 / 1:22:10.008

Disc Size: 22,829,318,095 bytes / 23,675,624,869 bytes

Feature Size: 22,301,463,936 bytes / 16,681,187,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps / 21.92 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 24th, 2014 / September 23rd, 2014



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio Polish 2500 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2500 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)


DTS-HD Master Audio Polish 1680 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1680 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Polish 1755 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1755 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)



English, none


English, French, none



• Trailer (1:55)


Q + A with Director Pawel Pawlikowski (21:19)
On the Set of Ida (11:27)
Pawel Pawlikowski Interview (6:52)
Theatrical trailer (1:57)





1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Music Box Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



Description: Anna is a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who, on the verge of taking her vows, discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation. Award-winning Polish born director Pawel Pawlikowski (Last Resort - BAFTA award, My Summer of Love) returns to his homeland for this moving and intimate drama.



The Film:

Preternaturally fresh-faced newcomer Agata Trzebuchowska makes an astonishing screen debut in “Ida,” an exquisitely rendered political drama by Pawel Pawlikowski set in 1960s Poland.

In this austere black-and-white character study — framed in the boxy aspect ratio of another era — Poland is a country and culture locked in the twin tragedies of World War II and postwar communism. As a place painfully suspended in time, it makes the perfect backdrop for people weighed down by personal and political histories so heavy and oppressive that they threaten to crush them not just psychically, but also physically.

Excerpt from the Washington Post located HERE


Spare, haunting, uncompromising, "Ida" is a film of exceptional artistry whose emotions are as potent and persuasive as its images are indelibly beautiful.

The first film in his native Poland by the gifted Britain-based director Pawel Pawlikowski, "Ida" is by design simultaneously simple and complex, timely and outside of time. It tells the story of one specific young woman's search for identity in 1962, and in so doing effortlessly brings in issues roiling contemporary Poland as well as themes of trauma and redemption that are as old as the ancient Greeks.

Excerpt from the LA Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Ida gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Artificial Eye.  It is only single-layered but has a high bitrate for the less-than-1.5 hour, black and white, feature. Contrast is much stronger than SD could relate and there is no noise in the darker sequences. It is, actually, a very bright film. The 1080P supports solid exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and tight lines in the 1.33:1 frame.  It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws, at all, with the rendering. This Blu-ray provides a superb video presentation.


The Music Box, North American, 1080P release is a shade lighter than its UK counterpart. I wouldn't say it was overly noticeable in-motion, but technically the Artificial Eye - with the higher bitrate - gains a slight edge in video presentation.




1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Music Box Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Music Box Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Music Box Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Music Box Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



More Artificial Eye Blu-ray Captures











Audio :

Artificial Eye use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 2500 kbps in original Polish. There are a few deft separations that add to the atmosphere - nothing aggressive but appreciated by this reviewer. There is a score by Kristian Eidnes Andersen who has composed for some documentary and short-film work but also, I see, was sound engineer on such films as Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac II. Everything sounds impressive, especially the silence. :) There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Music Box, also has the DTS-HD Master 5.1, but adds the option of a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel, that is fairly robust and works well for those who don't support, or want, a 5.1 soundstage. The US edition has both optional English or French subtitles and the Blu-ray disc is coded region 'A'.


Extras :

Unfortunately only a theatrical trailer. The film, actually, doesn't need much discussion - it speaks volumes through its contemplative sparse-ness.


Where Music Box moves ahead is in the supplements with a 21-minute Q + A with director Pawel Pawlikowski, a featurette entitled On the Set of Ida lasting almost a dozen minutes and a 7-minute Pawel Pawlikowski interview (the latter two being in Polish with English subtitles from a show called 'Cultural Conversations.) They also include a theatrical trailer.


Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray



Music Box Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



Wow - a modern masterpiece, or what? Ida is brilliant and those who appreciate minimalist cinema should run (not walk) to get this in their library. I had only seen Pawlikowski's The Woman in the Fifth previously, but this ratchets up to another full level. What an amazing film experience.  The Artificial Eye Blu-ray provides a strong a/v presentation - supporting the rewarding film with pristine beauty. This is easy to put in the 'must-own' and 'don't hesitate' category for world cinema home theatre owner and cinephiles everywhere.


Being such a great film - I was encouraged to compare it to the US Blu-ray release, which is favorable for the supplements, but I'm not strongly in favor of one over the other. I think it is more important to see the film in whatever location you can get it the cheapest. One of the best film experiences of the year!  

Gary Tooze

November 21st, 2014

December 12th, 2014






About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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