A talented and highly intense dramatic actor, Komorowska trained with experimental theater director and theorist Jerzy Grotowski, who clearly played a role in shaping her highly physical, emotive acting style. After gaining experience onstage, she began to act in films in the early 1970s, with over a dozen very occasional but regular appearances to her credit by the 90s. With her wide-eyed and mournful, pensive expression, Komorowska has typically played somewhat eccentric aunts, mothers or "black sheep" daughters, women suffering, willingly or not, because of wartime conditions, longstanding cultural barriers or the instability of human love and communication.
Komorowska has achieved wide visibility onstage and on TV in her native land. Only her film work, though, has really traveled, and she has performed for some of Poland's leading filmmakers, including Andrzej Wajda (in his bizarre adaptation of the verse play "The Wedding" 1972) and Krzysztof Kieslowski (part one of his "Decalogue" series, 1988). Reteaming with Wajda for "Panny z Wilka/The Young Ladies of Wilko" (1979), Komorowska played a typical role as one of five sisters enduring the anguish of old maidhood. Her most important cinematic collaboration, though, has been with Krzysztof Zanussi. Komorowska has been a leading muse for Zanussi almost from the start of his career in films from "Zycie Rodzinne/Family Life" and the atypical comedy of "Za Sciana/Behind the Wall" (both 1971) to his idiosyncratic take on "Blaubart/Bluebeard" (1984). Some of her more striking roles have included a deceptive baroness in "Wege in der Nacht/Night Paths" (1979), a war widow who meets an emotionally blocked American soldier in the touching "Rok Spokonjnego Slonca/The Year of the Quiet Son" (1984), and a mother who forms an odd triangle with her son and an older woman in the psychodrama "State of Possession" (1989).
Less active in film in the 90s, Komorowska continued stage and TV work, and also taught at the famed Warsaw Drama School. She marked a splendid return to form as a boy's free-spirited, horse-loving aunt during Poland's Stalinist 50s in Zanussi's autobiographical "At Full Gallop" (1996).
Cast (Feature Film)
First acted in the cinema and first worked with filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi on the films, "Zycie rodzinne/Family Life" and "Za sciana/Behind the Wall"
First non-Polish feature credit, the West German production, "Wege in der Nacht/Night Paths"
Acted in first film co-produced by US interests: "Rok Spokonjnego Slonca/The Year of the Quiet Sun", a co-production with Poland
Returned to feature films after a prominent absence with a leading role in Zanussi's "Cwal/At Full Gallop"