Kolya (1996)
"Kolja" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  24 January 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 11,854 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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Zdenek Sverák ...
Andrey Khalimon ...
Kolja (as Andrej Chalimon)
Libuse Safránková ...
Ondrej Vetchý ...
Stella Zázvorková ...
Ladislav Smoljak ...
Irina Bezrukova ...
Nadezda (as Irina Livanova)
Liliyan Malkina ...
Tamara (as Lilian Malkina)
Karel Hermánek ...
Petra Spalková ...
Nella Boudová ...
René Pribil ...
Miroslav Táborský ...
Slávka Budínová ...


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


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


Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |


| |

Release Date:

24 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kolya  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$5,730,711 (USA) (11 July 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


Throughout the movie, many background cars are clearly newer than 1989 models. The film is set in 1989. See more »


Referenced in Vsechnopárty: Episode dated 27 June 2014 (2014) See more »


Hospodin jest muj pastyr (The Lord is My Shepherd)
(from "Biblické písne (Biblical Songs), op. 99")
Music by Antonín Dvorák
See more »

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User Reviews

Heart-Warming, Charming Film
16 December 2000 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

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.

38 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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