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Kolya (1996)
"Kolja" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Music  -  24 January 1997 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 11,253 users  
Reviews: 62 user | 62 critic

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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Title: Kolya (1996)

Kolya (1996) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zdenek Sverák ...
Andrey Khalimon ...
Kolja (as Andrej Chalimon)
Libuse Safránková ...
Klára
Ondrej Vetchý ...
Broz
Stella Zázvorková ...
Mother
Ladislav Smoljak ...
Houdek
Irina Bezrukova ...
Nadezda (as Irina Livanova)
...
Blanka
Liliyan Malkina ...
Tamara (as Lilian Malkina)
Karel Hermánek ...
Musil
Petra Spalková ...
Pasa
Nella Boudová ...
Brozová
René Pribil ...
Pokorný
Miroslav Táborský ...
Novotný
Slávka Budínová ...
Bustiková
Edit

Storyline

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 <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The perfect grouch has met his match. A five-year-old boy named Kolya.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kolya  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$37,795 (USA) (24 January 1997)

Gross:

$5,730,711 (USA) (11 July 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The child actor who plays Kolja, Andrey Khalimon, was not cast until three weeks before filming started. See more »

Goofs

After Kolya becomes lost on the subway network and is trying to negotiate the escalator, he is trying to step onto the left hand side of the up escalator. However, from Kolya's point of view shot, he is trying to step onto the right hand side of the up escalator. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Als die alte Mutter mich noch lehrte singen (When My Old Mother...)
(from "Cigánské melodie (Gypsy Melodies), op. 55")
Music by Antonín Dvorák
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Thoughtful, Luminous Film
13 August 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What is a man to do who has resisted marriage until late middle age but then enters into a fraudulent marriage of convenience and ends up solely responsible for a five year old in the bargain? That is Franta Louka's dilemma in this beautiful film.

Louka, played by Zdenek Sverak who also wrote the screenplay, is a onetime philharmonic cellist who has lost his orchestra job because the Soviet era Czech communist powers-that-be deem him unreliable. As a consequence Louka has been reduced to playing at weddings and funerals and re-gilding cemetery tombstones. He has no car and is deeply in debt. In order to finance a car and reduce his debt Louka lets a coworker from the cemetery convince him to marry a Russian woman so that she can emigrate to the West. Louka reluctantly agrees and married the woman but the Russian decamps. This ultimately results in Louka becoming solely responsible for the woman's five year old boy -- who only speaks Russian.

Louka and the little boy's relationship is both believable and moving. "Kolya" is very nearly a great film. Highly, highly recommended. 9 out of 10.


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