7.3/10
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10 user 35 critic

Empties (2007)

Vratné lahve (original title)
A comic love story about a man who refuses to accept that old age is empty of love, meaning and value to society.

Director:

Jan Sverák

Writers:

Zdenek Sverák (story), Zdenek Sverák (screenplay)
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10 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Zdenek Sverák ... Josef Tkaloun
Daniela Kolárová ... Eliska Tkalounová
Pavel Landovský ... Rezác
Tatiana Vilhelmová ... Helenka
Jirí Machácek ... Robert Landa
Jan Budar ... Úlisný
Nela Boudová ... Ptácková (as Nella Boudová)
Miroslav Táborský ... vedoucí Subrt
Vera Tichánková ... Lamková
Jana Plodková ... Cárkovaná
Robin Soudek Robin Soudek ... Tomík
Martin Pechlát ... Karel
Bozidara Turzonovová ... Kvardová
Jan Vlasák ... Wasserbauer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jitka Asterová ... Moderátorka v rádiu
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Storyline

A comic love story about a man who refuses to accept that old age is empty of love, meaning and value to society.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy about the fullness of life.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Czech Republic | UK | Denmark

Language:

Czech | German

Release Date:

8 March 2007 (Czech Republic) See more »

Also Known As:

Povratne boce See more »

Filming Locations:

Czech Republic

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Zdenek Sverák and Daniela Kolárová also played husband and wife in Secluded, Near Woods (1976). See more »

Goofs

Eliska is supposed to be a professional teacher of German, yet in the German sentences she speaks in the course of the movie, her German has a heavy Czech accent, much worse than that of her supposed student. And, when Eliska is asked to translate the sentence, "I work for the city administration," her German translation makes no grammatic sense ("an der Stadtamt"). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kafe s Jolanou: Zdenek Sverák (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Cerní andelé
Music by Lucie, Lyrics by Gabriela Osvaldová
Performed by Gabriela Osvaldová and Marek Vasut
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's never too late for a career change
11 May 2008 | by Red-125See all my reviews

Vratné lahve (2007), directed by Jan Sverák, written by Zdenek Sverák, was shown in the U.S. with the title "Empties." The title derives from a second "career," undertaken late in life, by the protagonist Josef (Zdenek Sverák). Josef resigns from his position as a teacher and takes a job accepting returned glass bottles at a supermarket. Complications ensue. Josef isn't exactly an ideal worker, but he does establish a rapport with his fellow employees and with some of the customers.

Josef is married, but he and his wife are tired of each other. (Incidentally, his wife is played by Daniela Kolárová, who looks like the Czech Hellen Mirren.) Josef and his wife are both contemplating adultery, although that's not as easy for them as it might sound.

"Empties" is a comedy, but a comedy with a sad and bitter undertone. Everyone is looking for love, romance, and understanding, but mostly they're looking in the wrong places. Still, the film is worth seeing, especially because of the wonderful acting by Zdenek Sverák, who was outstanding in the film "Kolya" ten years ago, and is equally outstanding in "Empties."

Incidentally, the identical names of the actor/writer and director are not coincidental--they are father and son. That must lead to some interesting moments on the set.

We saw this film at the Rochester High Falls International Film Festival. It will work pretty well on a small screen. It's definitely worth seeking out and seeing.


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