Ida, directed by Poland’s Pawel Pawlikowski, has won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, defeating Russia’s Leviathan by Andrey Zvyagintsev, which many expected to be a favorite.
Other nominees were Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako's Timbuktu, Argentine filmmaker Damian Szifron's comedy-drama movie Wild Tales and Tangerines, an Estonian film by Zaza Urushadze.
Pawlikowski's black-and-white period drama about a novitiate nun who discovers a dark family secret was the 10th Polish film to be nominated in the category, but the first ever to win.
Leviathan, which became the second-ever Russian film to earn a Golden Globe and took a number of other international awards, has triggered a wave of controversy in its homeland.
The movie, a modern interpretation of the Book of Job, is set on a peninsula by the Barents Sea and tells the story of a man struggling against a corrupt local mayor.
The 87th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, takes place on Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.