Cold War

M 88 mins

About the film

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Actors: Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot
A critical and audience favourite at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (where it was awarded the Best Director prize) and already touted as a major 2019 Oscar contender, Paweł Pawlikowski’s follow-up to the Academy Award-winning Ida is a ravishing, music-fuelled romance charting two mismatched lovers caught between East and West in 1950s Europe.

In the ruins of post-WWII Poland, pianist Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) is commissioned by the Soviet state to form a musical ensemble to help rekindle national pride. Whilst touring the villages in search of talent he meets the beautiful Zula (Joanna Kulig, in a luminous star-making turn), a fiery and charismatic singer with a past, and the two fall passionately in love. When a performance in Berlin offers the pair an opportunity for escape to the West, a last-minute decision finds them stranded on either side of the Iron Curtain. As the years march on, Wiktor and Zula – whether through political circumstance or personal impetuosity – struggle to find their moment in time…

Spanning 15 years across Warsaw, Berlin, Paris and Yugoslavia, and inspired by the lives of the director’s own parents, COLD WAR meticulously recreates the era with virtuosic black-and-white cinematography, and an extraordinary soundtrack that is used judiciously to signify the passage of time and shifting relationships. Warmly lyrical, impossibly romantic and visually stunning, COLD WAR is one of the films of the year.

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★★★★★
“Exquisite. Musically glorious and visually ravishing.”
Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN

“Thrillingly seductive! Shot and edited with the rhythm of dance. I loved it.”
Nick James, SIGHT & SOUND

★★★★★
“A swooning, searing film that unexpectedly put me in mind of Casablanca or La La Land as reimagined by Andrzej Wajda or Agnieszka Holland – a reminder of the fundamental things that apply, as time goes by. It left me speechless.”
Mark Kermode, THE OBSERVER

“Erotically charged. Mr. Pawlikowski compresses entire worlds into this exquisite black-and-white drama, which movingly sets love, art and self-determination against tyranny.”
Manohla Dargis, THE NEW YORK TIMES

★★★★★
“What a treat this is! Moving, humane, rich with period detail and startlingly well-acted. You’re unlikely to see a more beautiful film this year.”
Andrew Lowery, EMPIRE

★★★★★
“A bona fide masterpiece. Pawlikowski is a peerless dramatist with an unerring ability to convey the most revealing character traits with the tiniest of details. The performances are effortlessly empathetic (Kulig is especially strong). The ending is savage, sweet and utterly perfect. A precious discovery, often unutterably beautiful.”
Kevin Maher, THE TIMES

★★★★★
“A dazzling odyssey through the human heart. The most achingly romantic film you’ll see this year.”
Phil de Semlyen, TIME OUT

OFFICIAL SELECTION (POLAND) – 2019 ACADEMY AWARDS

WINNER – 2018 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL – Best Director

5x NOMINEE – 2018 EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS – Best Film, Director, Actress, Actor, Screenwriter

CLOSING NIGHT GALA – 2018 NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

OFFICIAL SELECTION – 2018 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

OFFICIAL SELECTION – 2018 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

OFFICIAL SELECTION – 2018 EDINBURGH FILM FESTIVAL

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