8/10 Nominated for Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film, “Cold War” hasn’t been in the spotlight due to another foreign language film up for the same three Oscars, plus several more…”Roma”. It is a shame because this film is so much better and more emotionally involving than “Roma”. “Cold War” is essentially a love story that takes place across Europe in the late 1940s through the early 1960s as we see the ups and downs of one couple’s tumultuous relationship. The acting is fantastic and our female lead, Joanna Kulig, is a dead ringer for Jennifer Lawrence. The cast is mainly Polish so they are all unknown in the States but there is real talent on display here. Director Pawel Pawlikowski definitely knows how to pace his film and uses some hard edits to end scenes in a very effective manner. I couldn’t tell which direction the film was going to go and I feared it might go in a cliché direction but Pawlikowski changes things up and keeps the audience intrigued. Music plays a very important role in the film and the film’s soundtrack and score are as strong as the rest of the film. The black and white seems very fitting for the time period and for a love story that is on/off, hot/cold, black/white. There is almost a film noir type quality to the film with its black and white colors and the jazzy soundtrack that is really appealing. The political turmoil that was taking place at the time provides the backdrop without being a central force and overcrowding the film’s main focus on the love story. There really isn’t a lot to complain about with this film. The beginning kind of just throws you in so it takes some time to get your bearing and figure out whom everyone is. A very minor complaint would be that the film spans well over a decade and the entire cast looks like they haven’t aged a single day in that time span. Some minute make-up changes may have benefited this problem. Minor complaints aside, this is a surprisingly emotional journey with two lovers and a very strong showing from all the actors and talent behind the camera involved. Feel free to skip overrated films like “Roma” and give “Cold War” a chance instead.
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