Cold War (2018 film)

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Cold War
Cold War (2018 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
PolishZimna wojna
Directed byPaweł Pawlikowski
Produced by
Written by
Music byMarcin Masecki
CinematographyŁukasz Żal
Edited byJaroslaw Kaminski
Distributed by
Release date
  • 10 May 2018 (2018-05-10) (Cannes)
  • 8 June 2018 (2018-06-08) (Poland)
  • 31 August 2018 (2018-08-31) (United Kingdom)
  • 24 October 2018 (2018-10-24) (France)
Running time
85 minutes
  • Poland
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Polish
  • French
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Croatian
  • German
Budget€4.3 million[5]
Box office$17.7 million[6]

Cold War (Polish: Zimna wojna) is a 2018 historical period drama film directed by Paweł Pawlikowski, who co-wrote the screenplay with Janusz Głowacki and Piotr Borkowski.[7] It is an international co-production by producers in France, Poland and the United Kingdom. Set in Poland and France during the Cold War from the late 1940s until the 1960s, the story follows a musical director who discovers a young singer, exploring their subsequent love story over the years. Loosely inspired by the lives of Pawlikowski's parents, Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig co-star as the two leads. Borys Szyc, Agata Kulesza, Cédric Kahn and Jeanne Balibar appear in supporting roles.

Cold War premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival on 10 May 2018. Critics praised its acting, screenplay, direction and cinematography. The film has received numerous accolades, including three nominations at the 91st Academy Awards (Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography) and four at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards, including Best Direction and Best Film Not in the English Language.


In the ruins of post-war Poland, Wiktor and Zula fall deeply, obsessively and destructively in love. As performing musicians forced to play into the communist propaganda machine, they dream of escaping to the creative freedom of the West. One day, they spot their chance to make a break for freedom in France, yet fall out with each other and make a decision that will mark their lives forever.



Box office[edit]

As of 15 February 2019, Cold War has grossed $3.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $14.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $17.7 million.[6]

In the film's opening weekend in the United States it made $54,353 from three theaters, an average of $18,118 per venue.[8] In its sixth weekend of release, following its three Oscar nominations, the film made $571,650 from 111 theaters.[9]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 193 reviews, and an average rating of 8.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "With a brilliantly stark visual aesthetic to match its lean narrative, Cold War doesn't waste a moment of its brief running time — and doesn't skimp on its bittersweet emotional impact."[10] Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 90 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[11]

Giuseppe Sedia of the Krakow Post wrote, "...less hieratic than Ida, Cold War has a lot to offer to the audience. Maybe Pawlikowski would have not won Best Director Award at Cannes if it wasn't for the sumptuous acting displayed in this cruel, jazz-drenched and Mizoguchi-esque tale of two lovers".[12]


Cold War premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival on 10 May 2018, where it competed for the Palme d'Or and won Best Director for Pawlikowski.[13][14][15] It received the Golden Lions Award at the 43rd Gdynia Film Festival. At the 31st European Film Awards, the film won five awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenwriter for Pawlikowski, Best Actress for Joanna Kulig and European Film Award for Best Editor for Jarosław Kamiński; Tomasz Kot received a nomination for Best Actor. At the 72nd British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) the film earned four nominations for Best Film Not in the English Language, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. At the 91st Academy Awards, it earned three nominations: Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Opus Film, Polish Film Institute, MK2 Films, Film4, BFI, Protagonist Pictures, Apocalypso Pictures, MK Productions, Eurimages, Arte France Cinéma, Canal+ Poland, Kino Świat, The Lódz Film Fund, Mazovia and Warsaw Film Fund, The Silesian Film Fund, The Podkarpackie Film Fund, Arte France, Aide aux cinémas du monde and the Cinestaan Film Company are all credited as production companies.[1][2][3][4]


  1. ^ "Film Review: 'Cold War'". Variety. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ "'Cold War': Cannes Review". ScreenDaily. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Cold War Racks up International Sales". Film News Europe. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Cold War (Zimna Wojna)". British Council. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Pawel Pawlikowski delves to the heart of the Cold War". Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Zimna wojna (2018) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Złote Lwy dla Zimnej Wojny to słuszny choć bezpieczny werdykt". Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  8. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (26 December 2018). "'Aquaman' Grabs $67M+ Weekend For $72M+ Cume; 2018 B.O. Poised To Pass $11.4B For New Record – Early Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  9. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (27 January 2018). "'Never Look Away' Box Office Gets Oscar Bump; Godard's 'The Image Book' Finds Its Fans". IndieWire. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Cold War Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  12. ^ Sedia, Giuseppe (17 July 2018). "Cold War (2018)". Krakow Post. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  13. ^ "The 2018 Official Selection". Cannes Film Festival. 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  14. ^ Debruge, Peter; Keslassy, Elsa (12 April 2018). "Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  15. ^ Debruge, Peter (19 May 2018). "2018 Cannes Film Festival Award Winners Announced". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Oscars 2019: The nominees in full". BBC News. Retrieved 22 January 2019.

External links[edit]