Filmed in his native language by Polish director and writer Paweł Pawlikowski, the Polish, British and French co-production is in the running in the Best Foreign-language Film category.
The story of a mismatched romance set in 1950s Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, Cold War is up against two other European films for the award, including Never Look Away, a German historical drama inspired by the life of artist Gerhard Richter. This film’s director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, already won the Foreign-language Oscar in 2006 with his much-praised The Lives of Others.
Danish kidnap thriller The Guilty, by director Gustav Möller, is the third European contender. Three other films among the nine nominees are European co-productions.
Several films by European directors have also been nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category. These include Danish director Simon Lereng Wilmont’s The Distant Barking of Dogs, which depicts life at the frontline of the war in eastern Ukraine for a 10-year-old boy named Oleg.
Other Oscars could still be up for grabs for European films, as the Academy has yet to announce the nominees for many categories, including equivalents to those Cold War won at the European Film Awards. There it won Best Director and Best Screenwriter for Pawlikowski, Best Actress for Joanna Kulig, Best Editor for Jarosław Kamiński, and overall Best Film.
The Oscars ceremony is due to take place in Los Angeles on 24 February 2019.