Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, is the sort of so special film, that as it unrolls before you, you are occasionally taken out of the picture, desperate to watch the film again, just after it has finished.
And, who the hell is Agata Kulesza? Where did she come from? (Poland, sure.) But, her performance is absolutely to die for. Every single acting choice she makes as Wanda is inevitable and surprising at the same time.
And the young woman who plays Ida, Agata Trzebuchowska, is breathtakingly impressive, as well.
This masterpiece of a motion picture was an absolute joy to behold. Every single set-up for the black and white photography is so thoughtfully and perfectly chosen. One of the best things the team did was to have many of the close-ups, or two shots with the subject(s) in the bottom right hand corner of the frame, suggesting that what we were seeing was not the entire (big) picture, but a detail, instead. That there was a whole other truth outside the frame that we are not allowed to see. That we must decide for ourselves the truth, must decide for ourselves how the puzzle all fits together.
The film is done with such economy, too. There is not a single superfluous scene. There is not a single moment that does not impact the viewer, or count. In fact, some scenes you would expect to see are not there. Once again, letting the witness flesh out the tale for themselves, making Ida and Wanda's story part of your story, a new unexpected part of you own personal history.
It is stunning. An amazing masterpiece. What great work by this team. All should see this.