Former Czech Philharmonic Orchestra cellist Frantisek Louka (Sverak) is in a tough spot; reduced to performing at the city crematorium for cash, he at least enjoys the company of several young women, one of whom (Livanova) leaves him to care for 5-year-old Kolya (Andrei Khalimon). The Russian-speaking boy's presence crimps Louka's swinging bachelor lifestyle, but on the cusp of the Velvet Revolution, Kolya's influence begins to change his benefactor's whole outlook on life.
Why we love it
An affecting story of cross-generational camaraderie set against the backdrop of Czechoslovakia's momentous turn from Soviet rule in 1992, Sverak's Oscar-winning "Kolya" hits high notes of tender, personal feeling. Gorgeous shots of Prague and its environs further accent the sensitively acted and directed surrogate father-son story. Lovely and heartwarming, "Kolya" is pure gold.