Here’s why everyone is freaking out about the “passionate… tempestuous” COLD WAR, opening Friday at AFS Cinema

COLD WAR opens at the AFS Cinema Friday, January 25. Tickets are on sale now.

It’s rare that a subtitled, black-and-white, Eastern European art film like COLD WAR crosses over and becomes a must-see for even general audiences. But the film, written and directed by Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski (IDA) strikes so many universal chords in its story of star-crossed love, and is such a gorgeous example of cinematography – every frame truly is a work of art – that it achieves a kind of visual and emotional purity of expression that we see very rarely in today’s cinema.

Additionally, there is the human element. The leads Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot, give exceptional performances in their roles, based on the director’s own parents, as a passionate couple ripped apart by powerful political factions. Not only are they skilled performers, they are beautiful camera subjects. This is not a trivial matter in a movie that is effectively a construction of idealized images. Cinematographer Lukasz Zal places the two in a Cartier-Bresson-like visual reality that accentuates their old-school movie-star planes and angles. It really works. The film is an emotional symphony of images.

The film received three Oscar nominations today, for Best Foreign Film (Pawlikowski’s previous film IDA won this category in 2015), Best Director, and Best Cinematography.

Here’s what the critics are saying about COLD WAR:

“A near-perfect film, an artfully crafted, flawlessly acted meditation on love, memory and invented history that’s both deeply personal and politically attuned.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

“Glorious. Made with a verve and lyricism which rekindles memories of the glory days of European New Wave cinema. Invokes memories of Milos Forman, Jiri Menzel, and Francois Truffaut at the start of their careers.”
– George McNab, The Independent (UK)

“Wholly riveting to watch, Joanna Kulig rifles through moods and attitudes with the casual magnetism of a young Jeanne Moreau, or even a Euro Jennifer Lawrence. The lovingly handpicked soundtrack, ranging from darkly mesmerizing folks curiosities to torchy blues standards to a climatic, ethereal wave of Glenn Gould-interpreted Bach. A film crafted with almost eerie exactitude across the board… (with) finely wrought black-and-white compositions, each frame an exquisite tile of milk-and-malt melancholy.”
– Guy Lodge, Variety

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