If Roma hadn’t come out in 2018, this would have been a LOCK for best foreign language film.
This Polish/German/French black-and-white movie is a love story not unlike A Star is Born. It is BEAUTIFULLY filmed and I was in awe of the art direction of some of the shots, especially anything shot in the theatres.
The first half of the movie is almost entirely music, which doesn’t make this a musical at all in my opinion, even if some people are categorizing it as such. The movie starts in 1946 Poland with a couple of music directors trying to put together a folk show to promote Polish culture. It quickly becomes a romantic drama from there.
Joanna Kulig is incredible in this and steals every scene she’s in. She’s often in a scene or piece with dozens of others but you can’t take your eyes off her. She has hugely expressive eyes and is very noticeable. Tomasz Kot is super strong as Wiktor and adds a great deal of gravitas to each of his scenes. Very old school Hollywood look and a stark contrast to what we see nowadays.
Also a contrast to what we see today is how this is told. There is so much they purposely AREN’T telling us, they place a huge reliance on the audience to connect-the-dots. I know I didn’t put it all together but I’m sure I felt exactly what I’m supposed to have felt. I even talked to the screen at one point. I was pretty immersed.
I loved the music, I loved the love story, it’s a very moving film. Very believable, very real. I wish I had seen it with someone. It’s hard to experience that ending alone.
Heart rating: 4.5 stars
Brain rating: 4 stars