Unbearable Lightness of Being-Special Ed

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Product Overview

Tomas, the happily irresponsible czech lover of milan kundera's novel, which is set in prague just before and during the soviet invasion in 1968. Lena olin and juliette binoche are the two vastly different women who occupy his attention and to some extent represent different sides of his values and personality.


Studio Warner
SKU 202097440
UPC 012569734043
UPC 14 00012569734043
Format DVD
Release Date 2/7/2006
Based On A Novel
Essential Cinema
Love Triangle
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING is a sensual and sensitive adaptation of Milan Kundera's tragicomic existentialist novel that follows the story of Thomas (Daniel Day Lewis), a womanizing Czech doctor in 1968 Prague, prior to the Soviet invasion, whose sexual appetite is never fully satisfied. Thomas believes in keeping sexual gratification separate from love and finds true understanding and erotic bliss with Sabina (Lena Olin), a seductive and elusive artist. However, Thomas's understanding of love and commitment is challenged when he meets Tereza (Juliette Binoche), a sexually naive and innocent young woman who captures Thomas's fancy on an out-of-town business trip. When Tereza appears on his Prague doorstep, Thomas lets down his guard and allows the young woman to stay with him, breaking all his rules regarding the dangers of seductive entanglement. Despite his numerous affairs, Thomas falls deeply in love with Tereza, and they eventually marry. Sabina accepts Thomas's marriage to Tereza, but Tereza cannot accept Thomas's many lovers and is deeply hurt by her sly husband. Tereza's own sexual awakening and creative spirit is at the core of the film, as she is undeniably captivating to both Thomas and Sabina, who becomes her friend and artistic mentor. The three become involved in an intense love triangle that is eventually shattered by the violent Soviet invasion of 1968. Tereza's burgeoning photographic passion is documented in a creative black-and-white montage of the invasion, beautifully crafted by cinematographer Sven Nykvist. This captivating and brilliant literary adaptation is a subtle and complex character study in which Daniel Day Lewis, Lena Olin, and Juliette Binoche give magnificent lead performances.
Plot Summary
Summary Philip Kaufman's film tells the erotic story of a womanizing Czech doctor in 1968 Prague, prior to the Soviet invasion, whose sexual appetite is never fully satisfied. Deeply in love with his young wife, Tereza, he finds true understanding only in bed with his lover, Sabina, who shares the same attitude about sex. Tereza does not and is deeply hurt by his numerous affairs. After the invasion, they leave for Switzerland, but Tereza cannot stand it and returns to Prague. Tomas realizes he cannot live without her and must decide how important his personal and sexual freedom really is to him.
New York Times "...[Day-Lewis, Binoche and Olin] are surprisingly fine -- both modest and intense....Notably ambitious..." 02/05/1988 p.C8
Variety "...Mature, serious and intellectual....Great films are seldom made from great novels, but THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING stands as a stunning and surprising exception..." 02/03/1988
Los Angeles Times "...Kaufman has made a fine-looking film. He has cast the three points of his erotic triangle bravely and adroitly..." 02/05/1988 p.C1
Sight and Sound "...Kaufman's incorporation of documentary footage from 1968 is well executed..." 10/01/2003 p.78,"[T]his is still intelligent and very well-crafted fare. Daniel Day-Lewis brings plenty of charm to his role..." 06/01/2006 p.92
Premiere "Kaufman proves that an American can direct a smart, sexy, and tasteful European-style art film." 03/01/2004 p.96,3 stars out of 4 -- "[A] contemplation of the meaning of life and death and sex and freedom and a whole lot in between....[I]t's a compellingly adult film..." 06/01/2006 p.102-104
Philip Kaufman
Juliette Binoche
Lena Olin
Daniel Day-Lewis
Cast & Crew
Bertil Ohlsson - Producer
Daniel Day-Lewis - Actor
Derek De Lint - Actor
Jean-Claude Carriere, et. al. - Writer
Juliette Binoche - Actor
Lena Olin - Actor
Mark Adler - Musical Score
Milan Kundera - Based On Novel By
Philip Kaufman - Director
Saul Zaentz - Producer
Sven Nykvist - Director of Photography
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1988
Catalog ID 73404
UPC 00012569734043
Number of Discs 2
Running Time 172 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
Golden Globe (1989) , Nominee, Best Motion Picture, Drama,Lena Olin, Nominee, Best Supporting Actress
Oscar (1989) Sven Nykvist, Nominee, Best Cinematography
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review The film will be noticed primarily for its eroticism. Although major films and filmmakers considered sex with great frankness and freedom in the early and mid-'70s, films in the last decade have been more adolescent, more plot- and action-oriented. Catering to audiences of adolescents, who are comfortable with sex only when it is seen in cartoon form, Hollywood has also not been comfortable with the complications of adult sexuality - the good and the bad. What is remarkable about "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," however, is not the sexual content itself, but the way Kaufman has been able to use it as an avenue for a complex story, one of nostalgia, loss, idealism and romance.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, English, French, Spanish, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Day-Lewis,Daniel
Label Warner Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Screen International A veritable masterpiece...
The Hollywood Reporter ...wondrous and sensuous love story.

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