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Kolya (1996)

Kolja (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 24 January 1997 (USA)
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1:20 | Trailer

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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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Jan Sverák

Writers:

Pavel Taussig (story), Zdenek Sverák (screenplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site

Country:

Czech Republic | UK | France

Language:

Czech | Russian | Slovak

Release Date:

24 January 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kolya See more »

Filming Locations:

Prague, Czech Republic

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,795, 26 January 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,730,711, 13 July 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

45 weeks after it was first released, this was still in the top 3 in the Czech Republic's box office charts. See more »

Goofs

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

Connections

Referenced in Vsechnopárty: Episode dated 13 January 2009 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
A Thoughtful, Luminous Film
13 August 2001 | by gws-2See 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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