Cold War ★★★★

Like "Ida," "Cold War" - also directed by Pawel Pawlikowski - is beautifully shot, with painterly mise en scene that you will want to steal from the screen and hang on your wall to get lost in forever.

The love story at the film's core is wistful, playful, and epic, spanning the historical period of the titular "cold war", which works on both literal and figurative levels, and carries viewers through multiple European countries, across city and country landscapes, and into pied a terres or roadside religious ruins. The story drags occasionally, perhaps turning in on itself once too often, but the protagonists make us hope and follow -- particularly Joanna Kulig's character, Zula, who has the charm, energy, and beauty of Jeanne Moreau at her French New Wave height! Kulig is riveting in this role: funny, tortured, confident and lost simultaneously.

If you fall in love with nothing else, you will love her, and you will love gazing into the black & white frames from another era, like getting lost in the drama and perspective of bygone photographs. "Cold War" is not quite on the sublime level of "Ida" but this is very moving cinema nevertheless. #VIFF7

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