Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing ... See full summary »
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Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing at funerals and painting tombstones. But he has run up a large debt, and when his friend, the grave-digger Mr. Broz, suggests a scheme for making a lot of money by marrying a Russian woman so that she can get her Czech papers, he reluctantly agrees. She takes advantage of the situation to emigrate to West Germany, to her lover; and leaves her five-year-old son with his grandmother; when the grandmother dies, Kolya must come and live with his stepfather - Louka. Written by
Gary Dickerson <email@example.com>
Set in the twilight of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia, we find Louka, a 55-year old confirmed bachelor, blacklisted concert cellist, and womanizer, struggling to make ends meet. He's slipping further into poverty when he agrees to participate in a scam to save a Russian woman from deportation by marrying her. She promptly flees to the West, leaving Louka with her 5 year old, Russian-speaking son, Kolya. Predictable, with Disneyesque warmth, "Kolya" is still a very effective movie. Well directed and acted it does not rush Louka's slow realization of his capacity to love, pried out by his young, innocent ward. Setting the story against the backdrop of the approaching Velvet Revolution emphasizes Louka's spiritual growth. As good as this movie is, I'm surprised how poorly it is perceived by IMDb's younger viewers. It deserved its Academy Award and deserves a rental.
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