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RTÉ Guide - - Movie Guide -

Cold War (Ar­ti­fi­cial Eye)

The win­ner of the Best Di­rec­tor award at last year’s Cannes Film Fes­ti­val, not to men­tion a host of gongs at the Euro­pean Film Awards, Paweł Paw­likowski’s epic ro­mance is one of the finest dra­mas of re­cent years. Loosely based on the re­la­tion­ship of the di­rec­tor’s own par­ents, the story be­gins in post-war Poland and fol­lows the for­tunes of two mu­si­cians (To­masz Kot and Joanna Kulig) whose love story plays out against the back­drop of the Cold War. Beau­ti­fully shot in lush mono­chrome by DP Lukasz Zal, the movie chron­i­cles the on-off re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two main char­ac­ters, whose ro­mance through the years of­fers its own ver­sion of the Cold War. In the lead roles, both ac­tors are ter­rific, with spe­cial men­tion go­ing out to the lu­mi­nous Kulig ( Elles, Ida). Spe­cial men­tion also needs to be made for the film’s sound­track, with mu­si­cal ref­er­ence points in­clud­ing the folk songs of ru­ral Poland and the sweaty jazz bars of night-time Paris. Blu-ray ex­tras in­clude a be­hind-the-scenes fea­turette and a look at how the film’s re­mark­able sound­track was com­piled.

Laura (Eureka)

When they say they don’t make ‘em like they used to, Otto Preminger’s crack­ing film noir is the sort of movie they have in mind. Dana An­drews plays a de­tec­tive in­ves­ti­gat­ing the death of the wo­man of the ti­tle, whose story is re­vealed to us in flash­back. The lu­mi­nous Gene Tier­ney plays the enig­matic Laura (a role pre­vi­ously turned down by Hedy La­marr) and she is su­perb as the femme fa­tale at the cen­tre of this noirish thriller. Ef­fec­tive as Tier­ney and An­drews both are, how­ever, the film is stolen by Clifton Webb as Waldo Ly­decker, an acer­bic writer and for­mer suitor of the hero­ine. “I don’t use a pen,” sniffs Ly­decker, at one point. “I write with a goose quill dipped in venom.” Zowie. Blu ray ex­tras in­clude an au­dio com­men­tary with com­poser David Raksin, var­i­ous ra­dio adap­ta­tions of the drama, deleted scenes and a mak­ing-of fea­turette.

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