On Feb. 24, winners will be crowned at the 91st Academy Awards. But before the red carpet is rolled out and envelopes are opened, Entertainment Weekly has inside intel on the 2019 nominees. Keep checking back at EW.com this week for spotlights on contenders in all the major categories.
Director of: Cold War
Oscar past: 0 noms
The Polish filmmaker, whose religious drama Ida won the 2015 Best Foreign Film Oscar, spent a year in production helming his latest, a devastating romance between a musical director (Tomasz Kot) and budding singer (Joanna Kulig) set in ‘50s Poland and France.
“We had a lot of rehearsals because Paweł [would] change the script all the time,” Kulig reveals. “It was so intense.” Basing the love story on his parents, Pawlikowski shot Cold War chronologically in exquisite black-and-white, at times filming dozens of takes for a single scene in his rigorous exploration of fate and memory.
With Pawlikowski recognized alongside Roma’s Alfonso Cuarón, this marks the first time since 1976 and the second time ever that two foreign language film directors are nominated in the same year. Given the effort, passion, and technical brilliance brought to Cold War, the milestone feels appropriate.