Ida Kaminska received her only Oscar nomination for playing Rozália Lautmannová, a near deaf, elderly Jewish shop-owner in The Shop On Main Street.
The story concerns a young carpenter Tono (Jozef Kroner) who, in an agreement, takes over the old woman's sewing store. The role of Rozalia calls for an actress to be dumb, but not completely stupid. The old woman is clearly smart, but oblivious to the chaos and evil outside of her shop.
Ida Kaminska was a veteran stage actress, and some of her scenes show this. She also has a tendency to be overly annoying in some of her earlier scenes. But, I'm sure this is what the filmmakers were going for. Ms. Lautmannova is dumb, but there's always something underlaying that. She can barely hear, but once she figures everything out, about her situation and herself, she is as effective as a performance can get.
While the early scenes are a little too theatrical, the last scenes are almost incredible. Kaminska totally turns her character is too a heartbreaking creation, and it's hard not to cry when she's in trouble.
I give her major props for not turning her character into a hopeless old woman either. We actually care for her, and want her to finally wise up to the world around her.
Ida Kaminska gives the kind of performance that is perfect within it's limits. It's a little too much in the beginning, but turns into a solid, heartbreaking work in the latter part of the movie. I do wish there was a little more with handling her background, but, overall, it's a great, effective performance.