MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 411 this week

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  5 February 1988 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 24,694 users  
Reviews: 131 user | 49 critic

In 1968, a Czech doctor with an active sex life meets a woman who wants monogamy, and then the Soviet invasion further disrupts their lives.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 01 Jan 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 29 Jan 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 11 Sep 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 25 Jan 2014
 
a list of 33 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A British art expert travels across America in order to purchase a rare Renoir painting in the South but comes across some crazy characters in the process.

Director: Pat O'Connor
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Harry Dean Stanton, Kent Broadhurst
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Traveling dentist O'Connell traverses South America on his motorcycle for the 'Eversmile' foundation of New Jersey, in a fight not only against caries, but also against fear, ignorance, ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos Sorin
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Mirjana Jokovic, Gabriela Acher
The Boxer (1997)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Young Danny Flynn is released from prison after 14 years after "taking the rap" for the IRA and tries to rebuild his life in his old Belfast neighborhood.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Daragh Donnelly, Frank Coughlan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A father and daughter isolated on an island off the East Coast and living on a once thriving commune grapple with the limits of family and sexuality.

Director: Rebecca Miller
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Catherine Keener, Camilla Belle
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An ambitious Asian Briton and his white lover strive for success and hope, when they open up a glamorous laundromat.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth, Daniel Day-Lewis
My Left Foot (1989)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan
The Crucible (1996)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Salem resident attempts to frame her ex-lover's wife for being a witch in the middle of the 1692 witchcraft trials.

Director: Nicholas Hytner
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Paul Scofield
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When Lucy Honeychurch and chaperone Charlotte Bartlett find themselves in Florence with rooms without views, fellow guests Mr Emerson and son George step in to remedy the situation. Meeting... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Denholm Elliott
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder
Henry & June (1990)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1931 Paris, Anais Nin meets Henry Miller and his wife June. Intrigued by them both, she begins expanding her sexual horizons with her husband Hugo as well as with Henry and others. June ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Fred Ward, Uma Thurman, Maria de Medeiros
Goldstein (1964)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A modern-day interpretation of the story of Elijah, a prophet who supposedly heralded the end of time.

Directors: Philip Kaufman, Benjamin Manaster
Stars: Lou Gilbert, Ellen Madison, Tom Erhart
Nanou (1986)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

During a holiday study in France, a girl meets the great love of her life, but the boy is involved in terrorist activities and that puts serious crisis on their relationship.

Director: Conny Templeman
Stars: Imogen Stubbs, Jean-Philippe Écoffey, Christophe Lindon
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Franz
...
The Ambassador
Pavel Landovský ...
Pavel
...
Chief Surgeon
...
Interior Ministry Official
...
The Engineer
Tomasz Borkowy ...
Jiri (as Tomek Bork)
Bruce Myers ...
Czech Editor
Pavel Slabý ...
Pavel's Nephew
Pascale Kalensky ...
Nurse Katja
Jacques Ciron ...
Swiss Restaurant Manager
Anne Lonnberg ...
Swiss Photographer
Edit

Storyline

Tomas is a doctor and a lady-killer in 1960s Czechoslovakia, an apolitical man who is struck with love for the bookish country girl Tereza; his more sophisticated sometime lover Sabina eventually accepts their relationship and the two women form an electric friendship. The three are caught up in the events of the Prague Spring (1968), until the Soviet tanks crush the non-violent rebels; their illusions are shattered and their lives change forever. Written by Dan Hartung <dhartung@mcs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Lovers Story.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La insoportable levedad del ser  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$10,006,806 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Daniel Day-Lewis at first turned down the role feeling the script made him too nice. The script was revised and added in things from the book that made the character less "perfect". See more »

Goofs

When the man from Ministry from Interior was urging Tomas to sign the statement, Tomas clearly mouthed "it's bullsh*t" but no audio can be heard. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
First Title Card: In Prague, in 1968, there lived a young doctor named Tomas...
Tomas: Take off your clothes.
[line recurs several times during film]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Only what is heavy has value
25 July 2003 | by (Flagstaff, AZ) – See all my reviews

Imagine you're at the theater attending a live performance, a truly living performance in which both axioms and mythological truths are entered into and shared by actors and audience alike. Now suppose that the backdrop for all the action is dark, oppressive, and heavy, while all that transpires before it is light, glib, and ineffectual. Now consider that, through the course of the play, all that is bouncy and trivial becomes overwhelmed and absorbed by the gravity of the background, like light being sucked into the gravity of a black hole, so that what was once meaningless and unimportant and even silly becomes increasingly momentous and important and valuable as the play progresses. If you can see this outline in your mind's eye, you have a good idea about The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera's novel by the same name brought to life as a movie. The film, like the novel, declares one thing: `only necessity is heavy, and only what is heavy has value.' I so love this idea, this earth shattering insight: it effortlessly capsizes our Postmodern zeitgeist in one innocuous little phrase. And the film expresses it beautifully.

Set in the Prague Spring of 1968, when the Soviets put down Dubcek's `Socialism with a Human Face,' the weight of these events draws the lives of a Czech doctor, his wife, and his lovers, into its orbit. And instead of crushing them, as one might assume, it becomes the fire that purifies gold. Tomas (Daniel Day-Lewis), for example, had previously written a treatise on Oedipus, a witty exercise in sophistry aimed at the Communist regime as a provocative analogy, nothing more. But as the essay becomes an object of obsession to the Communists, we see Kundera's definition of vertigo come into play. It is not the fear of falling, but the soul's defense against the desire to fall. Tomas wanted to fall. Why? Watch the movie, and find out for yourself.


34 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Awful, bad, horrible movie. schtrunfe
I've heard DDL say... chizdippler
ONCE AGAIN: the ending - plothole? wim_mols
Judging the movie on its own merit... sabika-angelz
Kundera's thoughts? JellybeanJack
READ THE BOOK! chelsea_104
Discuss The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?