7.9/10
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37 user 115 critic

Cold War (2018)

Zimna wojna (original title)
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1:59 | Trailer

Coming Soon

In theaters December 21.

A passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatefully mismatched and yet condemned to each other. Set against the background of the Cold ... See full summary »

Director:

Pawel Pawlikowski

Writers:

Pawel Pawlikowski (story), Pawel Pawlikowski (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
105 ( 68)
9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joanna Kulig ... Zula
Tomasz Kot ... Wiktor
Borys Szyc ... Kaczmarek
Agata Kulesza ... Irena
Cédric Kahn ... Michel
Jeanne Balibar ... Juliette
Adam Woronowicz ... Consul
Adam Ferency ... Minister
Drazen Sivak Drazen Sivak ... Sleuth 1
Slavko Sobin ... Sleuth 2
Aloïse Sauvage ... Waitress
Adam Szyszkowski ... Guard
Anna Zagórska Anna Zagórska ... Ania
Tomasz Markiewicz Tomasz Markiewicz ... Leader of ZMP
Izabela Andrzejak Izabela Andrzejak ... Mazurek
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Storyline

A passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatefully mismatched and yet condemned to each other. Set against the background of the Cold War in the 1950s in Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, the film depicts an impossible love story in impossible times.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love has no borders.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

for some sexual content, nudity and language. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Poland | France | UK

Language:

Polish | French | German | Russian | Italian | Croatian

Release Date:

21 December 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cold War See more »

Filming Locations:

Lódz, Lódzkie, Poland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All of the jazz numbers in the film were arranged - and the piano parts performed - by Marcin Masecki. See more »

Quotes

Zula: He mistook me for my mother and a knife showed him the difference.
See more »

Soundtracks

Ja za woda, Ty za woda
Performed by Anna Zagórska & Joanna Kulig
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Completely engrossing and stunningly beautiful. An arthouse masterpiece.
4 September 2018 | by markgormanSee all my reviews

The first thing to state about this beautiful movie is that it's monochrome. So stunningly so that at times you feel you are in a photographic gallery rather than a cinema. The quality of the cinematography is quite extraordinary thanks to Lucas Zal.

It's also in 4:3 format. Not the square format of Instagram, but close.

We don't see 4:3 very often these days but Wes Anderson used it to immense effect in Grand Budapest Hotel and so did Lazslo Melis in Son of Saul.

It's an engaging format that draws you in. It suggests a time before cinemascope (16:9 etc) and only really works in period cinema of a time.

This time.

But it also lends itself to incredible framing, such as when our female protagonist floats down a river gradually disappearing out of shot, and later in the movie when the chief protagonists leave a bus and walk out of frame in a composition that Henri Cartier Breson would be proud of.

It's one of the most beautiful movies I've seen in many years.

In truth that's probably its biggest strength.

It is, but it isn't really, narrative driven. More episodic than story driven but it does tell a tale about director Pawel Pawlikowski's parents' love affair set against the Cold War backdrop in his native Poland.

It's fairly sordid in a way (his mother was abused by her father as a child) but without anything shocking to see.

Imagine, yes.

The two leads ( Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot) are magnificent. Brooding, beautiful (although unconventionally so) and real.

Lucas Zal has a great time dwelling on three particular things. Crowd shots. Amazing, Dance sequences. Amazing. Joanna Kulig (the lead). Amazing.

In particular, Joanna Kulig has a stand out performance. She's not one to show her enjoyment in life. Sullen most would say. But it is an immense performance.

It's a love story, set against the challenges that Cold War Poland put in front of people of artistic belief where communist doctrine made creativity very difficult.

What Pawel Pawlikowski achieves is a mood piece of exemplary, peerless really, detail.

And it's a musical.

I was constantly drawn to comparing it to La La Land, yet it is so NOT La La Land. Partly it's down to Kulig who shares the unorthodox looks (beauty) of Emma Stone. Partly it's the framing of Zal.

And the music fuses from Polish country folk to French basement jazz (which La La Land would have been so comfortable with).

This is an Oscar nomination shoe in. It's absolutely brilliant.

And, at 88 minutes, certainly does not outstay its welcome.

Bravo!

A Straight 10 from me.


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