ida 2013Best Foreign Language Film is one of the more underrated categories presented at the Academy Awards. Some films within this category truly shine, yet they are blacklisted by many people as being foreign and, therefore, unwatchable. "Ida" tackles foreign topics, literally and figuratively, with grace, and it somehow is related to today's world. While "Ida" is immensely popular within its target market, most of the general public has not seen or even heard of it. Its ability to tackle such relatable issues contributed to its win at the Academy Awards.

Filmed in black and white, "Ida" follows the eponymous nun-in-training, played by Agata Trzebuchowska. While she is content to remain at the convent until she takes her vows and officially becomes a nun, Ida is sent into the real world to meet her last living relative. During her stay with her Aunt Wanda, played beautifully by Agata Kulesza, the duo goes on a journey to trace the origins of Ida's parents. Aunt Wanda introduces Ida to a more wild life, and even introduces her to the revelation that her parents had been Jewish. This revelation disrupts everything Ida had ever learned and forces the pair to investigate the death of Ida's parents during Nazi occupation. Considering the setting of 1960, Poland still retains marks of the war, and this shows through the prejudice held by certain townspeople met along the way.

Initially, Ida remains stiff and chaste, but from the beginning there is a twinkle in her eye. Throughout the film, this twinkle expands and creates a lifetime of memories within the numbered days of the visit. Ida's aunt is a fun-loving judge who spends her evenings drinking with men while Ida reads her bible. Immediately, they clash as the modern world of the '60s meets the dated world Ida knows.

Wanda and Ida represent sin vs. purity through their actions and their dress. Ida wears the light-colored clothes given to her in the convent, whereas Aunt Wanda wears exclusively dark clothing. Makeup design represents this relationship as well, with Ida's bare face. Towards the film's finale, when Ida removes her habit, her clothing is dark. The impurity of the outside world influences Ida's decisions and behavior. Their language is indicative of the difference. Ida exposes her thoughts through glances and facial expressions, whereas Wanda vocalizes her desires and anger.

These issues are still present today, where the older, more conservative generation constantly clashes with the more liberal millennials. Despite its 1960 setting, Ida remains relevant to current issues we face on an everyday basis. As young people, we constantly struggle with what is expected of us, and Ida understands this more than anyone.

Brooke Schmidt is a student at The College of New Jersey and a contributor to Moviefone's Campus Beat.
categories Movies, Reviews, Awards