Amazon Studios | Release Date: December 21, 2018
7.9
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Generally favorable reviews based on 128 Ratings
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Positive:
102
Mixed:
21
Negative:
5
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6
ladyalymarieDec 26, 2018
I love the aesthetics of the film but not invested with the characters which is an important part of a romance film.
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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8
LamontRaymondDec 26, 2018
Certainly a good movie, but it could have been great, and it's not great. It check in at 88 minutes. To make this story great, it would have had to have been 5 or 6 hours. They jump from year to year to quickly. They don't establish theCertainly a good movie, but it could have been great, and it's not great. It check in at 88 minutes. To make this story great, it would have had to have been 5 or 6 hours. They jump from year to year to quickly. They don't establish the burning love affair or passion between the two leads strongly enough. As odd as it may sound, they don't have incredible chemistry. Which is a killer for a movie like this. I mean, if you're looking for chemistry, check out the credits sequence of "Against All Odds" with Rachel Ward and Jeff Bridges - set against the Phil Collins song. This film just missed that burning passion. But it's not bad by any means. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
tropicAcesDec 23, 2018
If “Phantom Thread” and “A Star is Born” had a love child, and then it starred an actress who looked like Jessica Chastsin and Jennifer Lawrence, had a baby, that would be this movie.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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5
everettJan 25, 2019
I loved his film "Ida" and bought the DVD afterward. So perhaps my expectations were too high, especially given the reviews. But this is what it came down to: I just didn't care about the characters. All the perfect cinematography - andI loved his film "Ida" and bought the DVD afterward. So perhaps my expectations were too high, especially given the reviews. But this is what it came down to: I just didn't care about the characters. All the perfect cinematography - and stunning art direction on the whole - couldn't compensate for that. I never expected to be bored, yet because I had never been drawn in emotionally, and because of a certain redundancy in the writing, I found it long at an hour and a half.

Also, I had to wonder why he didn't make more use of the "cold war/Stalin" etc. background. I've seen political backdrops put to much better (and more profound) use recently in "Roma" and especially (on TV) "Babylon Berlin." More character development - as in "Ida" - would have helped. This seemed more like a dated stock film than one of the classic b&w's that show us more than passion and gazing. (Lots of "gaze" here, including the director's!) I had to wonder if the years' apart structure was a way to avoid anything resembling an examination of a passionate relationship over time.
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7
movieducationDec 21, 2018
The black and white, the music and its heavenly voice, the dancing are never monotous and primitive, yet, COLD WAR suffers from montage storytelling, sacrificing the process of tremendously sad love story with powerful backdrop. A slightThe black and white, the music and its heavenly voice, the dancing are never monotous and primitive, yet, COLD WAR suffers from montage storytelling, sacrificing the process of tremendously sad love story with powerful backdrop. A slight stepback from Ida, but still beautiful. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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9
GinaKJan 21, 2019
Beautifully photographed in black and white, Cold War is an interesting film, about an elusive woman and her faithful/obsessed lover, which makes it a film about a personal “cold war” set during a historical Cold War. The acting isBeautifully photographed in black and white, Cold War is an interesting film, about an elusive woman and her faithful/obsessed lover, which makes it a film about a personal “cold war” set during a historical Cold War. The acting is exceptionally good and completely believable. And Pawlikowski always seems to find an interesting “angle” from which to shoot a scene, which enriches the film, but also is sometimes a distraction, at least during the first half of the film after which you are so caught up in the story that such details don't matter anymore, but the passion of the lovers does. Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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9
netflicJan 14, 2019
Marriage therapists would have a field day with two main characters - a woman who would give her life for her man, but not giving him a normal life even given the opportunity, self-destructing and ruining him in the process; and a man whoMarriage therapists would have a field day with two main characters - a woman who would give her life for her man, but not giving him a normal life even given the opportunity, self-destructing and ruining him in the process; and a man who throws away his life for that woman.
 
Why, then, two perfectly balanced, happily married people, like us, experience strong connection with those two, feeling their every raw emotion?
It has to do with the mastery of the filmmaker, Pawel Pawlikowski, Polish director who made "Ida" (best Foreign Movie in 2013). The movie is dedicated to his parents and loosely based on their love life. They separated and got back together three times, leaving back their new spouses.
 
Music carries the whole film, from folk Polish songs and dances to soviet-era Stalinist songs to jazz, it helps to create authentic feeling of post-War Europe with the main theme of one forbidden love ("Two Hearts"). It is stylish, artsy, and atmospheric, with beautiful black-and-white cinematography.

The script is deliberately jumpy, leaving lots of room for imagination to fill the gaps. There is something Shakespearean in this story of two lovers who cannot live without each other yet cannot be together as well.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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6
GreatMartinJan 25, 2019
A simile? A metaphor? Maybe, even a pun? The title of the movie "Cold War" can refer to the time period the story takes place or the romance, or lack of chemistry between the two leads, or possible the photography of this black and whiteA simile? A metaphor? Maybe, even a pun? The title of the movie "Cold War" can refer to the time period the story takes place or the romance, or lack of chemistry between the two leads, or possible the photography of this black and white film.

We follow Wiktor (Thomas Kot) and Zula (Joanna Kulig) from the beginning of their romance when they meet in Poland where he an accomplished musician, conductor and producer, with his current lover and co-producer, Irena (Agata Kulesza) are auditioning singers and dancers for players in the Mazurek Ensemble which revolve around Polish countryside folk music. Wiktor and Zula fall in love though really not suited for each other and, many times, make selfish decisions that keep them apart though the cold war also interferes with their journey. They never discuss their being unfaithful to each other and what it does to them over time including Zula. In the mix is Kaczmarek (Borys Szyc), who was a driver for Wiktor and Irena and over the years has risen on the political scene.

A lot of the picture takes place in Paris, many scenes in a nightclub, Le Eclipse, and the soundtrack has music from Chopin to Billie Holiday to Bill Haley and the Comets.

The direction by Pawel Pawlikowski, along with cinematographer Lukas Zal, makes "Cold War" in the black and white 4:3 ratio photography look like paintings with each picture worthy of a museum showing. I was taken completely by surprise in the first scene a mirror was used as a background and having another scene with the screen filled with a field and 2 very small people looking like minatures in the lower corner was another wow moment.

Though Thomas Kot and Joanna Kulig didn't have any chemistry between them both present very striking figures, he with his imposing height and intense stare and she with a persona that makes you concentrate on her whenever she is in the camera's eye. It did bother me that she resembles an actress that I just couldn't name!

Last week the movie received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film of 2018 and though it is interesting it is also disappointing mainly because the love story aspect just doesn't deliver. Was "Cold War" a metephor? A Simile? Or was the title a pun reflecting on the couple's love?

If you are looking for a beautiful, moving, involved love story "Cold War" is not for you but if you want to see a beautiful black and white photographed moving picture and, maybe, learning a little about the cold war and how it affected lives this is one for you!
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7
Brent_MarchantJan 24, 2019
A gorgeous, sublimely cool story of troubled romance set against the backdrop of Communist era Poland. Beautifully shot in black and white, this bittersweet tale pays fitting homage to European art films of the 1950s and '60s with a narrativeA gorgeous, sublimely cool story of troubled romance set against the backdrop of Communist era Poland. Beautifully shot in black and white, this bittersweet tale pays fitting homage to European art films of the 1950s and '60s with a narrative somewhat reminiscent of the French drama "Betty Blue" (1986). However, after a strong beginning, the picture begins to meander somewhat toward the middle, as if the director didn't quite know how to bridge the opening to a conclusion that he already had in mind. It feels like all the makings of a great film are here but that they don't quite gel as well as they might have in the finished product. See it for the gorgeous cinematography and the outstanding performance of Joanne Kulig, but don't be surprised if you feel like you come away from it somewhat unsatisfied. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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2
Douglas56Dec 31, 2018
The film has many problems but I will deal with just one. When the story depends almost entirely on the viewer's appreciation of a romantic love relationship between the two principal characters, then the key challenge for the writer andThe film has many problems but I will deal with just one. When the story depends almost entirely on the viewer's appreciation of a romantic love relationship between the two principal characters, then the key challenge for the writer and director (in this case the same person) is to find a way to convey the emotional content of that relationship to the viewer so that we may in some way connect and care – in the visuals, in the dialogue, in the music, whatever. In this, Pawlikowski has failed totally. The relationship depicted is opaque and impenetrable, occasionally capricious, often tedious, and always without the viewer caring one whit what might follow. And no amount of B&W, 4:3 arty cinematography or a 'powerful' soundtrack or 'inspired' acting can fix that flaw. I suspect Pawlikowski came to realise too late that he had no feel for the relationship (apparently it was based on his parents, which tells me all I need to know about the childish depiction of adult life) and so he was forced to construct an artful deceit to cover up his lack of insight. As a result, a movie that runs only 88 minutes was a chore to watch and entirely forgettable. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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2
SergioMaJan 9, 2019
Yet another cold war movie! Pretentious directing, bleak script, and black and white as if it is following a formula that comes ready to consume. Acting is hardly convincing and story too long.
1 of 6 users found this helpful15
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9
amheretojudgeDec 25, 2018
Zimna Wojna (Cold War)

it is adequately infinite.. Pawlikowski’s writhing response to politically and personally challenged era lops your thinking and puts an honest mirror in front of the screen whose parallel world is equally soothing to
Zimna Wojna (Cold War)

it is adequately infinite..

Pawlikowski’s writhing response to politically and personally challenged era lops your thinking and puts an honest mirror in front of the screen whose parallel world is equally soothing to encounter as it is inedible to swallow. Despite of being fueled by pathos ideology, it is adequately infinite. The general subjective method is bizarrely genius and jaggedly on mark, that it gives you an abyss feeling which is cathartic to the core. Your nerves pops out with some beautifully shot bright scenes; jaw dropping cinematography, that even though, is black and white, it is immensely appealing.

The structure of the script is weaved out to keep you enmeshed in its poetic world, addition to that, it rhymes. Pawlikowski’s passion for music is the soul reason how he fills in those tiny gaps between sequences and somehow it grows out to become its core strength. To cohere such a wide concept within two characters, is an example of fine writing skill. Ticking for only 90 minutes, Pawlikowski sufficiently pours out his intentions on each frame. If the initial stage is general and contains the dirty politics and answers some challenging questions, the latter one is so personal that you can practically sense those characters around you.

It is a pleasure to watch three dimensional characters come out of the screen, as a character quips once in the movie, “..love is timeless..” Pawlikowski proves his passion for storytelling on a much larger scale than ever. Ranking each other, as the story develops, the characters are purely humane and for the sake of the explanation, the makers keep them unfiltered; their rawness is what attracts us. Kot has a reserved act to follow, troubled but mellow. His character needs to speak through eyes, his underdog character has to be calculated by himself on each scene and he keeps his end of the promise. On the other hand, Kulig gets an expressive one.

It doesn’t suggest that it isn’t layered, in fact hers is much more simpler, wider and sensible; moody yet justified. Horns clashing on screen, both the actors brims their entire performance with flow that is hard to stop. It might be set on practical times, but the characters are so not pragmatic. Their superpower makes them stand alone in the crowd quite early in the movie. Their affection towards each other is impenetrable, even the conflicts weaved out by themselves fails to do so, the purity is both harrowing and mesmerizing.

This mighty old crown of genre that Pawlikowski has held on his head has actually been passed over to many a great filmmakers, but only few of them has got it right, personally, I feel it is more romantic than it is dramatic, sweep off the political distraction, the fragile poem residing in the core of this tale is waiting devastatingly to be read. The vertiginous concept that it attempts to convey in the most possibly simpler terms is what fuels this romance. Zimna Wojna is actually confected from a single pure emotion, the title won’t be suffice, neither will the storytelling be.
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10
CosiMOLOGOFeb 13, 2019
¿Beso? Un truco encantado para dejar de hablar cuando las palabras se tornan superfluas. Frase pronunciada por la actriz Ingrid Bergman es básicamente la esencia de esta historia, en donde la belleza de cada cuadro dice mucho más que el¿Beso? Un truco encantado para dejar de hablar cuando las palabras se tornan superfluas. Frase pronunciada por la actriz Ingrid Bergman es básicamente la esencia de esta historia, en donde la belleza de cada cuadro dice mucho más que el dialogo.

El director polaco Pawel Pawlikowski que había mostrado su maestría con Ida (2013), regresa trayendo un romance imposible que tiene de telón de fondo la guerra fría, Pawlikowski cuenta una apasionado romance imposible entre dos personas de diferentes orígenes y temperamentos. Desde la primera escena de esta cinta el espectador queda hipnotizado por la belleza de la imagen en blanco y negro que resalta y contrasta momento de fuerte sentimentalismo sobrio y elegante, que desespera en momentos, que se acompaña perfectamente con la música seleccionada, que parece haber sido creada especialmente para la película.

La película comienza a fines de los 40, vemos una recreación fiel de las distintas épocas por las que la película pasa, mostrando por medio de la música el paso del tiempo. La historia va avanzando, vemos reconciliaciones y reencuentros, siempre hermosos, pero en el fondo sabemos que no durara, nos volvemos participes de la desesperación de dos personas profundamente enamoradas que por los obligaciones laborales y los problemas que se vivían en la época no logran consolidar su romance. Joanna Kulig, ofrece una interpretación desgarradora y hermosa, haciendo un tributo a las mujeres de las películas clásicas de la época.
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7
ahmedaiman1999Jan 28, 2019
I feel as if I was watching La La Land (my favorite Romance film, and one of my all-time favorite movies), except that I wasn't invested in the "love story" even for a single moment! Simply because the romantic relationship between the twoI feel as if I was watching La La Land (my favorite Romance film, and one of my all-time favorite movies), except that I wasn't invested in the "love story" even for a single moment! Simply because the romantic relationship between the two main characters is not clearly illustrated and surprisingly very shallow. I even couldn't understand why their love is so strong; why these people are so stuck to each other. I would have been more convinced that they fell in love with each other if their love was at-first-sight kind of love. But their love is even more corny and superficial than I could have ever imagined. They continue to move all the time and make love and argue, while there is not enough emotional heft to their relationship. The movie never even delves into the romantic aspect; it only displays the parts that unit the "lovers" before driving them apart again. And I honestly wasn't invested neither in the characters, nor their relationship and the obstacles they face over the years. It comes as no surprise that the movie becomes boring at some point. Yes, that means that I wasn't bored per se all the way through the movie, and that's for some reasons.

For starters, the cinematography is simply awe-inspiring! Every scene is one of breathtaking beauty. The black-and-white color style creates a romantic and nostalgic atmosphere that tricked me that I would enjoy a love story that fits its setup. Cold War hands down deserves an Oscar for best cinematography, despite the fact that there are many 2018 films I've seen that look astonishing. Cold War has a truly striking visual aesthetic.

In the beginning of the movie, Pawel Pawlikowski skillfully showed us the life in Poland after the war and the folklore culture. The nostalgic sense and the illustration of another culture in another era are so pure and genuine. Let alone the mesmerizing singing scenes that serve as small feasts for the senses.

As for the "political" territory that the movie tackles, it's equally superficial and flat as the romantic aspect. Nevertheless, I was surprised that I cared about this "capitalist world" more than I cared about the romance between Zula and Wiktor, considering the fact I'm not into politics at all.

Both the two leads, Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot, elevated their colorless characters by delivering powerhouse performances that were enough to make me not hate Zula and Wiktor.

I was prepared to see a masterpiece, and now I really feel that I've been cheated. Cold War left me COLD! And I'm thoroughly underwhelmed by it.

(7/10)
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9
m15964Feb 4, 2019
What is our love style all over our lives look like? How cold is our personal love stories? and how much do we follow the gray concept in the matter of "love"? It seems that the result of the interaction of the two characters may be imposedWhat is our love style all over our lives look like? How cold is our personal love stories? and how much do we follow the gray concept in the matter of "love"? It seems that the result of the interaction of the two characters may be imposed on them from the condition of society around them. MUST WATCH... Expand
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6
TVJerryFeb 5, 2019
A musician meets a woman at a special camp that trains young people to perform traditional Polish folk songs and dances. This movie follows them as they re-connect every few years thru Europe's Cold War. Their erratic relationship involvesA musician meets a woman at a special camp that trains young people to perform traditional Polish folk songs and dances. This movie follows them as they re-connect every few years thru Europe's Cold War. Their erratic relationship involves more discord then heartfelt emotion, but they keep being drawn back together. Director Pawel Pawlikowski's previous film Ida also featured black and white cinematography and a deliberate pace (my review). Both were nominated for Foreign Film Oscars. This one features numerous musical performances that add some life to the otherwise slow-moving, minimalistic narrative. If you're into the artistry of foreign filmmakers, this will likely appeal, esp. for the visual style and interesting music. In Polish with subtitles. Expand
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8
AndremaxFeb 4, 2019
Cold War is a bit confuse for doesn't know where to go very well as a metaphor, but that doesn't leaves to be an interesting and holding story, and a jaw-dropping photography that just adds in movie's beauty.
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8
moviemitch96Feb 11, 2019
A marvelous little gem of a film, beautifully shot and acted! Yes, the film does jump around a lot from year to year, over a decade or so, but the film's small runtime surprisingly didn't seem to hinder the film's intimate storytelling andA marvelous little gem of a film, beautifully shot and acted! Yes, the film does jump around a lot from year to year, over a decade or so, but the film's small runtime surprisingly didn't seem to hinder the film's intimate storytelling and dynamic chemistry between its two leads. Overall, it's a small, yet very intimate and beautiful film, and another reminder of just how wonderful indie/arthouse cinema is! Expand
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10
PanchogulJan 29, 2019
Un filme bellísimo y pulcro de principio a fin, la mejor película de habla no inglesa del 2018.
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8
RaduAFeb 24, 2019
85/100

Hmm ... I don't watch romantic movies, but I liked this one. Let's start with the biggest white ball: music and cinematography. I never realized how beautiful the black and white films are. I do not know if this movie was shot more
85/100

Hmm ... I don't watch romantic movies, but I liked this one.
Let's start with the biggest white ball: music and cinematography. I never realized how beautiful the black and white films are. I do not know if this movie was shot more nicely than Roma ... I think I like more Cold War. Helps (in my opinion) the aspect ratio of 4:3. The songs are great. I think I'm going to listen to the soundtrack again.
Another white ball is acting. Am I the only one that thinks Joanna Kulig looks like Jennifer Lawrence?
And now comes the bad part ... I did not really care about the characters, I do not know why. There are some moments when I should feel sad but ... I could not. I think I would have given it a 95/100 if I had been interested ... I think it's my problem, I do not know.

In conclusion, I am surprised that this film is not as hyped as Roma. Good acting, good cinematography, good songs but I could not feel anything ...
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6
Bertaut1Dec 21, 2018
Aesthetically perfect, narratively frustrating

Reading around some of the reviews of Zimna wojna [Cold War], I recognise that this should have been a film I liked, as so much of what critics are praising are exactly the kinds of things I
Aesthetically perfect, narratively frustrating

Reading around some of the reviews of Zimna wojna [Cold War], I recognise that this should have been a film I liked, as so much of what critics are praising are exactly the kinds of things I myself often look for in a film. Indeed, I freely acknowledge there's a huge amount to praise here, with elements of the mise en scène borderline genius. However, all the aesthetic brilliance in the world doesn't hide what, for me, is its single greatest flaw - I just didn't care about the two main characters, and I didn't buy their relationship. I'm aware that emotional detachment is exactly what it was going for, and it's probably unfair to criticise a film for successfully doing what it intended to do, but when it ended, all I could think was "meh." Although, to be fair, that may say more about myself than the film.

Written by Paweł Pawlikowski, Janusz Głowacki, and Piotr Borkowski, and directed by Pawlikowski, the film begins in Poland in 1949, two years since a communist government came to power. Composer and pianist Wiktor (Tomasz Kot), his ethnomusicologist producer Irena (Agata Kulesza), and state-sponsored overseer Kaczmarek (Borys Szyc) are travelling through rural communities attempting to find recruits for a folk music school. Wiktor is bored out of his mind, until a young woman named Zula (Joanna Kulig) auditions. Although she doesn't fit the profile of what they are looking for, Wiktor argues that she has "something different." Soon enough, he and Zula are in a relationship. The rest of the film takes place over 20 years and four countries (Poland, France, Yugoslavia, and East Germany), but it never branches out from the central relationship.

To begin with some aspects which I liked. The film's aesthetic is absolutely unparalleled, as Pawlikowski and director of photography Łukasz Żal shoot in Academy ratio (1.37:1), which has the effect of confining the characters within the frame. The nature of the film lends itself to sweeping vistas and cityscapes captured in anamorphic (2.39:1), but, instead, Pawlikowski and Żal use the box-like nature of the Academy frame to trap the characters, who don't seem free even when standing in the vast open countryside.

Another example of the film's extraordinary mise en scène is the opening shot, where shallow focus creates a depth of field so small that the village behind the in-focus singers is completely flattened. This renders it visually inaccessible, and thus compels the audience to concentrate fully on the foreground singers. Compare this with the scene where Kaczmarek is giving a speech extolling the glory of the state, all the while a cow is wandering around in the mud behind him. The use of a deeper focus here means that the cow falls within the larger depth of field, and can be clearly seen, once again directing the audience's attention, only this time that attention is directed away from the foreground character as opposed towards him (an, of course, the cow is an important metaphorical element).

So, why did I not enjoy it? At the end of the day, this is a romance. But it doesn't work as a romance. Yes, it's not what you would call a standard romance by any means, the character motivations and justifications that you'd see in other narratives of this ilk are absent, and maybe because of that, although there was undeniable chemistry between the leads, I just didn't buy their insatiable desire for one another. The problem is, the same thing happens about five times - they meet, have a great time, argue over something, and one runs off. And even at only 85 minutes, this kind of structural repetition becomes, well, repetitive.

These are two people who have precious little respect for one another; beneath all the eroticism and physical attraction, they are simply two irreparably damaged people trying to save one another, living with a co-dependency, but instead hastening each other towards destruction. And as I couldn't buy into the believability of the romance, the entire enterprise floundered. And although the end is very well done, and the last line is spectacular, it left me unmoved, because, by that stage, I just didn't care. True, the structure of the film and the tight editing means that events in their lives are glanced at rather than lingered over, so the kind of nuances and character beats you'd expect are absent. By design, the film is barren and emotionally impenetrable, and in that sense, Pawlikowski seems to have been attempting to construct as detached a narrative as he possibly could. If anything, he succeeds too well.
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9
RyoHaragaJul 23, 2019
最も鑑賞前に期待した映画のひとつだった。白黒の画面や随所に流れる民族音楽がとても美しかった。恋愛至上主義がかなり激しく表れていた物語を全面的に評価するのは難しかった。
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