Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
Pawel Pawlikowski’s “visually stunning” new period love story is “passionate, wistful, and thoughtful in equal measure,” said Emily Yoshida in NYMag .com. For his foreign-language Oscar contender, the director of Ida took inspiration from his own parents. Tomasz Kot plays a composer in 1949 Poland who falls for a singer named Zula, who’s not the simple rural girl she pretends to be. Joanna Kulig is “astounding” in the role; she “does everything with a kind of tortured fury.” And as circumstances regularly separate and reunite the pair, “their volatile togetherness is the only thing that really matters.” In short, “this is not a film about a passion-
ate love affair so much as it is a film about two people constantly on the verge of one,” said K. Austin Collins in Vanity Fair. In just 88 minutes, the movie races through 15 years and several countries. “It makes you feel, alongside Zula and Wiktor, like everything is happening on borrowed time.” You might wonder, though, why a story about lives shaped by totalitarianism never crystallizes totalitarianism’s costs. “You don’t have to hang that kind of weight on its shoulders to enjoy it,” said Stephanie Zacharek in Time. Cold War is the rare period romance that “deftly walks the line between appropriately somber and great, sophisticated fun.”
Kulig and Kot: Opposites attract.