Holding his audience in anticipation after winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (Ida), Pawel Pawlikowski returns with his terrific, new Academy Award nominee Cold War.
The story of a forbidden romance between music lovers may strike familiar chords with audiences (especially this year’s A Star Is Born, as well as 2016’s La La Land), but Cold War stands on its own by showing how a flawed relationship exists apart over time. Pawlikowski, not wasting any time, jumps through the timeline of shared memories in 1950s Europe between music director Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and aspiring performer Zula (Joanna Kulig).
Cold War is moving, but in more than one way. Kot and Kulig have great chemistry, along with some fantastic individual moments that allow their characters to shine, and watching the flexing evolution of their relationship is satisfying even if the results are not always uplifting. However, with some substantial memories only serving as snapshots, you’ll find yourself breaking a sweat keeping up with Cold War’s unnecessarily hurried pace.
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