Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida, one of the most successful Polish films of the last 25 years with over 300 thousand tickets sold so far in the US alone, has been announced as the Polish candidate for an Academy Award in the foreign-language category
Since its release on May 2, the film has grossed over 2.8 million dollars. Ida is being distributed by Music Box Films and was initially screened in only 3 cinemas. Pawlikowski’s picture soon gained popularity and today it is being presented in as many as 134 cinemas.
After 1989, it was Kieślowski and Holland who made films which were renowned abroad, writes Paweł T. Felis in Gazeta Wyborcza. Kieślowski’s French films enjoyed success in France, while Holland’s English-language films were successful in the US.
Ida earns millions
Its increasing popularity has secured the film 20th place in the American box office charts. The Taste of Curry is the only non-English feature that has proved more successful in the US. Pawlikowski’s Ida beat the likes of Jim Jarmusch and his Only Lovers Left Alive (1.7 million), Asghar Farhadi's The Past (1.3 million) as well as Lars Von Trier and his Nymphomaniac.
Ida has also been warmly received in France. The film was watched by over 500 thousand viewers and made 3 million dollars, compared to in Poland, where it attracted a mere 100 thousand viewers. No Polish film has proved so successful in France since 1948’s The Last Stage and Border Street.
Ida’s box office success, however, is just a part of the story. Pawlikowski’s film is one of the most awarded films around the world. It has received over 60 prizes – in Toronto, London and Gijón to name but a few.
International critics were amazed by the picture, and Variety listed it among their top 5 films of 2014.
The film is being distributed in over 40 countries, including Spain, Italy, Argentina, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia. Soon, it will be available in the Czech Republic (July 17) and Slovakia (September 11).
Is Ida eligible for the Oscars?
An Oscar nomination may also be on the cards - Pawlikowski’s film has just been nominated for the European Parliament’s Lux Film Prize. Ida seems to be the favourite for the prize, which awards pictures promoting values related to European identity, presenting Europe’s cultural diversity and participating in the debate regarding integration within the European Union. Pawlikowski’s film is also a strong candidate for the European Film Awards. All this goes to show that Ida should be the Polish candidate for the Oscar.
Ida is the definite candidate in my opinion, said Agnieszka Odorowicz, General Director of the Polish Film Institute, to Gazeta Wyborcza. The film has been widely acclaimed by critics in the US, what is more, it has been very successful in American cinemas and there has been much talk about it in the industry.
Ranking of the most successful Polish films in the USA:
- Secret Garden; directed by A. Holland (7,5 million viewers)
- Europa, Europa; directed by A. Holland (1,3 million viewers)
- Three Colours: Red; directed by K. Kieślowski (850 thousand viewers)
- The Double Life of Véronique; directed by K. Kieślowski (480 thousand viewers)
- Washington Square; directed by A. Holland (400 thousand viewers)
- Three Colours: Blue; directed by K. Kieślowski (317 thousand viewers)
- Ida, directed by P. Pawlikowski (312 thousand viewers)
- Three Colours: White; directed by K. Kieślowski (296 thousand viewers)
- Olivier, Olivier; directed by A. Holland (280 thousand viewers)
- In Darkness; directed by A. Holland (130 thousand viewers
*according to BoxOfficeMojo.com; not including Polański’s films.
Audience of Polish-language films in the USA after 1990:
- Ida – 312,000
- White – 296,000
- In Darkness – 130,000
- Dekalog – 110,000
- Katyn – 16,500
Sources: Gazeta Wyborcza, PISF, BoxOfficeMojo, Ranking of the most popular films in the USA according to Gazeta Wyborcza.
ed. BS, translated by Kasia Dolato, updated by LB 11/08/2014