×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Cold War’ Makes History for Poland

Alfonso Cuaron might’ve tied an Oscar record with four nods to his name for “Roma,” which scored 10 nominations overall. But another black-and-white film in a foreign language, Pawel Pawlikowski’s jazz-infused romantic drama “Cold War,” was honored with three Academy Award nominations Tuesday, the most in history for a primarily Polish-backed production.

The film will compete in the best foreign-language film and cinematography categories, while Pawlikowski earned a somewhat unexpected nomination for best director. (He won in that category at the Cannes Film Festival last year, where “Cold War” premiered.)

In a remarkable coincidence – beyond being foreign-language pics shot in black and white – both “Cold War” and “Roma” are drawn from the lives of the directors’ own families. “Cold War” is loosely based on the story of Pawlikowski’s late parents, musicians who met in post-war Poland and embarked on a tempestuous marriage.

“They’d be over the moon” with the film’s Oscar nominations, Pawlikowski told Variety in an e-mail, adding: “There’s always a note of sadness in moments like this. They died thinking I was a good-for-nothing anarchist.”

Popular on Variety

The auteur said he was surprised by his three Academy Award nods and attributed the film’s success to the depiction of both the love story at the film’s center and the geopolitical context in which it unfolded.

“It seemed that it was the combination of the story, the history, the image, the music and how it all worked together,” Pawlikowski said.

In its review, Variety called “Cold War” a “soberly moving study of the disappointment and insecurity that can blossom from supposed renewal: It’s a romance in which new beginnings and endings can be hard to tell apart.”

In a prepared statement, Pawlikowski thanked his producers, Tanya Seghatchian and Ewa Puszczyńska; the film’s “luminous star,” actress Joanna Kulig; and Amazon Studios, which has the film in the U.S. He also congratulated his cinematographer, Lukasz Zal, on his Oscar nomination.

Pawlikowski already owns one golden statuette: the 2015 Oscar for best foreign-language film, for “Ida,” about a war orphan who prepares to enter holy orders. The director acknowledged in his e-mail to Variety that, “by my standards,” he engaged in some Oscar campaigning in L.A. this time around.

But, he added, it was “not nearly as much as some.”

More Film

  • Lionsgate Developing 'Memetic' Apocalyptic Horror Movie

    Film News Roundup: Lionsgate Developing 'Memetic' Apocalyptic Horror Movie

    In today’s film news roundup, Lionsgate is developing graphic novel “Memetic” as a feature, the latest Laura Ziskin Prize is announced and Firelight Media creates a fund for nonfiction filmmakers of color at the mid-career mark. PROJECT LAUNCHES Lionsgate is in final negotiations for motion picture rights to the apocalyptic horror graphic novel “Memetic” for [...]

  • Sylvie's Love Review

    'Sylvie's Love': Film Review

    Sultry music swells as the camera swoons over a young couple in a tender nighttime embrace. The 1950s residential New York City street is carefully rain-slicked and lined with shiny classic cars: an obvious stage set. Gene Kelly might just have swung on that lamppost; Doris Day might lean out of an upstairs window to sigh [...]

  • Martin Scorsese Irishman BTS

    Martin Scorsese's Body of Work Extends Far Beyond Male-Centric Mafia Movies

    Actors sometimes complain about being typecast, but it’s a fact of life for anyone in entertainment. John Ford is usually labeled a director of Westerns, despite “The Grapes of Wrath” and  “Mister Roberts.” David Lean is known for his epics, but he also directed “Brief Encounter” and “Summertime.” Vincente Minnelli? The director of musicals, overlooking [...]

  • Oscars Oscar Academy Awards Placeholder

    Will Oscar Campaigning Turn to Mudslinging?

    On March 5, 1963, Army Archerd wrote in Variety: “There’s been a not-so-subtle campaign pyramiding since Oscar nominations that Omar Sharif is an ex-Egyptian soldier who fought in the Israeli War. Forget it: Omar sez: ‘I never fought in any army.’” Archerd also denied the rumor that Sharif was Muslim. Two big takeaways: 1. Mudslinging [...]

  • Blake Lively

    Why Blake Lively Isn't Trying to Be the 'Female James Bond' in 'The Rhythm Section'

    “The Rhythm Section,” Reed Morano’s new espionage thriller about a female assassin who sets out to avenge her family’s untimely death, is not a female-led approximation of a “James Bond” film. Though Barbara Broccoli, the magnate producer whose family has been solely responsible for the franchise, is producing the movie, “The Rhythm Section” is decidedly not [...]

  • Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez. Kristen Anderson-Lopez,

    Kristen Anderson-Lopez Talks Responsibility, Representation in 'Frozen 2' and the Biz

    Gender parity isn’t an issue in Oscar-winning songwriting-composer Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s house, what with her longstanding collaboration with husband Bobby Lopez, but at the Oscars luncheon on Monday, it was a different story. “There were 13 female directors represented in the shorts and documentary fields,” Anderson-Lopez notes, adding, “but how do we get from there to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content