IMDb > The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
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The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   23,747 votes »
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Director:
Writers (WGA):
Milan Kundera (novel)
Jean-Claude Carrière (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Unbearable Lightness of Being on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 February 1988 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A Lovers Story.
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Personal meaning in love, in expression, and between ordinary people See more (129 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Daniel Day-Lewis ... Tomas

Juliette Binoche ... Tereza

Lena Olin ... Sabina

Derek de Lint ... Franz

Erland Josephson ... The Ambassador
Pavel Landovský ... Pavel

Donald Moffat ... Chief Surgeon

Daniel Olbrychski ... Interior Ministry Official

Stellan Skarsgård ... 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
László Szabó ... Russian Interrogator
Vladimír Valenta ... Mayor

Clovis Cornillac ... Boy in Bar
Leon Lissek ... Bold Man in Bar
Consuelo De Haviland ... Tall Brunette
Jacqueline Abraham-Vernier
Judith Atwell
Claudine Berg
Jean-Claude Bouillon (as Jean-Claude Bouillion)
Miroslaw Beuer
Niven Busch
Margot Capelier
Victor Chelkoff
Monica Constandache
Jean-Claude Dauphin
Dominique De Moncutt
Bernard Lepinaux
Josiane Lévêque
Peter Majer
Charles Millot
Gérard Moulévrier
Jan Nemec
Charly Oleg
Sylvie Plantard
Olga Baïdar-Poliakoff
Christine Potter
Hana Maria Pravda
Romano
André Sanfratello
Jirí Stanislav
Milos Szoboda
Helenka Vernier
Marrian Walters
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Philip Kaufman ... Man walking on street outside Sabina's flat (uncredited)
Isabelle Noérie ... Student (uncredited)

Directed by
Philip Kaufman 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Milan Kundera (novel)

Jean-Claude Carrière (screenplay) &
Philip Kaufman (screenplay)

Produced by
Bertil Ohlsson .... executive producer
Paul Zaentz .... associate producer
Saul Zaentz .... producer
 
Original Music by
Mark Adler 
 
Cinematography by
Sven Nykvist 
 
Film Editing by
Vivien Hillgrove Gilliam  (as Vivien Hillgrove)
Michael Magill 
Walter Murch 
B.J. Sears (co-editor)
 
Production Design by
Pierre Guffroy 
 
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
 
Makeup Department
Suzanne Benoit .... key makeup artist
Rosalina Da Silva .... makeup artist: Lena Olin
 
Production Management
Daniel Baschieri .... assistant unit manager
Frank Simeone .... unit production manager: USA unit
Daniel Szuster .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eric Bartonio .... first assistant director
Simon Brook .... assistant director
Robert Kechichian .... second assistant director
Charles Paviot .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Jean-Michel Ducourty .... second assistant art director
Michael G. Ploog .... storyboard artist
Jean-Yves Rabier .... carpenter
 
Sound Department
David Franklin Bergad .... sound editor
Mark Berger .... supervising re-recording mixer
Jean-Marie Blondel .... sound assistant
Todd Boekelheide .... sound re-recording mixer
Luis Colina .... sound effects editor
Ernie Fosselius .... foley editor
Ruth Hasty .... apprentice sound editor
Pat Jackson .... sound effects editor
Ann Kroeber .... sound effects
Barbara McBane .... dialogue editor
Christopher Newman .... production sound mixer
David Parker .... sound re-recording mixer
Philip Rogers .... sound recordist
Karen Spangenberg .... dialog editor
Alan Splet .... sound designer
Dianna Stirpe .... sound apprentice
Ewa Sztompke .... sound effects assistant
Gwendolyn Yates Whittle .... assistant dialogue editor
 
Special Effects by
Jozef Ort-Snep .... trick photography
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Phil Bray .... still photographer
Richard Brodet .... best boy electric
Philippe Houdart .... camera operator
George Michael Pantages .... gaffer: US production crew (as Michael Pantages)
 
Casting Department
Marie-Sylvie Caillierez .... extras casting
Patricia de Oliveira .... casting: US production crew
Sarah C. Koeppe .... casting associate
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Donna Maloney .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Donah Bassett .... negative cutter
Jack Garsha .... color timer
Robert Grahamjones .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Mark Adler .... music arranger
Ernie Fosselius .... music arranger: Gevena production crew
Leos Janácek .... music: selected works from
Alan Splet .... music selection: Janacek's works
Jeffery Stephens .... assistant music editor
 
Other crew
Patrick Boshart .... location scout
Kent Brown .... production assistant
Dennis Davidson .... Publicity campaign
Peter Kaufman .... assistant to the director
Walter Slater Murch .... production assistant
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
171 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Canada:R (Nova Scotia/Ontario) (original rating) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Canada:R (Manitoba) (2005) | Canada:18 (Nova Scotia) (re-rating) (2005) | Canada:PG (Ontario) (re-rating) (2005) | Finland:K-16 | Hong Kong:III | Iceland:14 | New Zealand:M | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:R21 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | USA:R | West Germany:16
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Lena Olin's American film debut.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: While nowadays, many people in the Czech Republic wear wedding bands on the left hand, back in 1968 they would have worn them on their right hand regardless of their political stance. Both of the main characters are shown in the movie to wear their wedding bands on the left hand as they would have in the U.S., not Czechoslovakia.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 »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Personal meaning in love, in expression, and between ordinary people, 20 October 2010
Author: secondtake from United States

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

I liked this book a lot, and I like director Philip Kaufman's approach to movies. The best of this movie is terrific, as well: the wild culture of personal and cultural freedom at the start, the chilling invasion of Soviet tanks in the center, and the last half hour of idealized romance and happiness in the country.

That kind of gives away the movie, it would seem. But in a way, the movie is about how all these things happen. This is where it gets to be about taste and patience. It's a long movie, and much of the events are not really a development of plot, but a steady continuation of a variety of relationships (mainly between the lead man and the two main women). There is a plot behind all this, especially around their leaving Czechoslovakia and then finding a return to bliss in the Czech countryside, but this doesn't drive the movie overall.

For me, it wasn't enough to see these people enjoying sex and discovering conflicts between the three legs of the love triangle. Scenes were often leisurely in a way that implies we were glad to just be there and watch things happen within a pocket of frozen time, rather than through time. By that I mean, it wasn't where you were going with the emotional aspects, but it was where you were, the now of the interactions. The might actually be where the book was so successful--it created moods and scenes where you were, actually, glad to just be absorbed. For me, that wasn't always the case in the film version.

Part of the problem might just be Daniel Day Lewis, who is a bit too self-satisfied, not as a character (that is certain) but as an actor. He lacks the magnetism that might sustain the unlikely and ongoing love the two women have for him, even as they know about each other. On the other hand, it's a huge, epic tale about true freedom, and a very real pursuit of happiness. And when the energy gets going, and the mood is fully expanded, there is magic. Especially, again, at the end, including the famous fade to white in the last frames, it is about a kind of heaven on earth. Who can object to that?

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Did anyone else find Juliette Binoche's acting bizarre? charlotte20
The nude photography scene michaelsmith81
Awful, bad, horrible movie. schtrunfe
I've heard DDL say... chizdippler
Kundera's thoughts? JellybeanJack
Where in California was Sabina? (beach scene) sweetloum
See more »

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