Kolya (Czech: Kolja) is a 1996 Czech drama film about a man whose life is reshaped in an unexpected way. The film was directed by Jan Svěrák and stars his father, Zdeněk Svěrák, who also wrote the script from a story by Pavel Taussig. Kolya earned critical acclaim and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
|Directed by||Jan Svěrák|
|Produced by||Eric Abraham|
|Written by||Zdeněk Svěrák|
Andrey Khalimon (Andrej Chalimon)
|Music by||Ondřej Soukup|
|Edited by||Alois Fišárek|
|Distributed by||Space Films|
|Languages||Czech, Slovak and Russian|
|Budget||CZK 28 million|
(app. $1 million)
|Box office||$7.7 million|
The film begins in 1988 as the Soviet bloc is beginning to disintegrate. František Louka, a middle-aged Czech man dedicated to bachelorhood and the pursuit of women, is a concert cellist struggling to eke out a living by playing funerals at the Prague crematorium. He has lost his previous job at the Czech Philharmonic, having been half-accidentally blacklisted as "politically unreliable" by the authorities. A friend offers him a chance to earn a great deal of money through a sham marriage to a Soviet woman to enable her to stay in Czechoslovakia. The woman then uses her new citizenship to emigrate to West Germany, where her boyfriend lives.
Due to a concurrence of circumstances, she has to leave behind her 5-year-old son, Kolya, for the disgruntled Czech musician to look after. At first Louka and Kolya have communication difficulties, as they don't speak each other's languages and the many false friend words that exist in Czech and Russian add to the confusion. Gradually, though, a bond forms between Louka and Kolya. The child suffers from suspected meningitis and has to be placed on a course of carefully monitored antibiotics. Louka is threatened with imprisonment for his suspect marriage and the child may be placed in a Soviet children's home. The Velvet Revolution intervenes though, and Kolya is reunited with his mother. Louka and Kolya say their goodbyes.
Bachelor Louka ends up fathering a child with his girlfriend – perhaps a replacement for lost Kolya – and regains his position as a virtuoso with the philharmonic orchestra.
|Mr. Brož||Ondřej Vetchý|
|Louka's mother||Stella Zázvorková|
|Kolya's mother||Irina Bezrukova|
The film was released on DVD and VHS on July 2, 2002.
In the Czech Republic, the movie's country of origin, over 1.34 million visitors made the movie one of the most successful movies ever. In Germany more than 624,000 tickets were sold for the film.
- Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- Czech Lion
- Best Film
- Best Director (Jan Svěrák)
- Best Actress (Libuše Šafránková)
- Best Supporting Actor (Andrei Chalimon)
- Best Screenplay (Zdeněk Svěrák)
- Best Editing (Alois Fišárek)
- Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix
- Česká televize: Kolja – Co možná nevíte
- worldwideboxoffice: Kolya
- Thomas, Kevin (1997-01-24). "Father and Son Team Up in 'Kolya'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- "The 69th Academy Awards (1997) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- "News". hive4media.com. Archived from the original on July 3, 2002. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
- Maslin, Janet (1997-01-24). "What a Difference a Boy Makes". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- "Kolya". Chicago Sun Times. 1997-01-27. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Guthmann, Edward (1997-09-12). "FILM REVIEW – Charming 'Kolya' Has Magic Touch". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Thomas, Kevin (1997-01-24). "A Heart-Tugger With a Czech Twist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- King, Susan (1997-01-28). "Jerry Maguire Ahead of Pack—Barely". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Kolya: Box Office, IMDB, Undated.Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- Kolya: Admissions. LUMIERE – Database on admissions of films released in Europe. Retrieved 25 February 2017.