Cold War (2018): Movie Review

Oy Oy Oy, Cold War is a gorgeous declaration of love, impulsive and imperfect.  Pawel Pawlikowski helms one of the year’s great films with Poland’s foreign language submission, a follow-up to his Oscar-winner Ida.  Impeccable black-and-white cinematography and filled with musically brilliant composition, Cold War unravels the relationship between a talented, tempestuous singer and a Communism-fleaing composer as they exist on the edges of each other’s lives.  Joanna Kulig as the singer Zula is equal portions unwieldy, womanly, and exhausted. Tomasz Kot as the composer Wiktor, pensive and fearful, is rightly awe-struck by Zula. Kulig’s deferred passion and deceptive manner create a complicated performer Gaga wishes she could capture.  Jumping through encounters over decades, Zula and Wiktor are subjects of their time, career and nationality, and Pawlikowski’s story, somber yet invigorating, captures that singular presence in a crowded room and the polar opposites you can’t live without that makes life complicated and captivating.

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