A confirmed bachelor is in for the surprise of his life when a get-rich-quick scheme backfires and leaves him with a pint-sized new roommate.

Director:

Jan Sverák

Writers:

Pavel Taussig (story), Zdenek Sverák (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 14 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:

Hasta el corazón más duro puede ser ablandado por la ternura de un niño... (Mexico) See more »

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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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

Referenced in Vsechnopárty: Episode dated 15 September 2017 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

American Quartet
(2nd movement)
Music by Antonín Dvorák
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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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Details

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

Gross USA:

$5,770,254

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,770,254
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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