Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Czech Republic, 1996. Biograf Jan Sverak, Pandora Cinema, Ceská Televize, CinemArt, Fonds Eurimages du Conseil de l’Europe, Centre National De La Cinematographie, The Czech Republic State Fund for Support and Development of Cinematography, Portobello Pictures, Space Films. Story byPavel Taussig, Screenplay by Zdenek Sverak. Cinematography by Vladimir Smutny. Produced by Eric Abraham, Jan Sverak. Music by Ondrej Soukup. Production Design by Milos Kohout. Costume Design by Katarina Holla. Film Editing by Alois Fisarek.
Touching drama from the Czech republic about a gruff cellist (Zdenek Sverak, director Jan Sverak’s father and the film’s writer) who willingly marries a Russian bride to help her out legally, and ends up getting stuck with her little boy after she runs away. Now this hard-bitten old man, who can hardly stand people his own age let alone impressionable children, is forced to care for a lonely little boy who has no idea what’s going on. Told with exceptional sensitivity and never overdoing its more sentimental moments, the film further showcases Sverak Jr.’s exceptional ability in directing children (his 1991 film The Elementary School is even better).
Academy Award: Best Foreign Language Film
European Film Award Nomination: Best European Film
Golden Globe Award: Best Foreign Language Film
Toronto International Film Festival: 1996