Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Details


In [[Performer~P96903~Philip Kaufman~philipkaufman]]'s surprisingly successful film adaptation of Czech author [[Performer~P313108~Milan Kundera~milankundera]]'s demanding 1984 best-seller, Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Tomas, an overly amorous Prague surgeon, while [[Performer~P6261~Juliette Binoche~juliettebinoche]] plays Tereza, the waiflike beauty whom he marries. Even though he's supposedly committed, Tomas continues his wanton womanizing, notably with his silken mistress Sabina (Lena Olin). Escaping the 1968 Russian invasion of Prague by heading for Geneva, Sabina takes up with another man and unexpectedly develops a friendship with Tereza. Meanwhile, Tomas, who previously was interested only in sex, becomes politicized by the collapse of Czechoslovakia's Dubcek regime. The Unbearable Lightness of Being may be too leisurely for some viewers, but other viewers may feel the same warm sense of inner satisfaction that is felt after finishing a good, long novel. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:February 5, 1988


Awarded by
National Society of Film Critics Philip Kaufman Best Director 1987 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Philip Kaufman Best Adapted Screenplay 1988 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Philip Kaufman Best Adapted Screenplay 1989 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Lena Olin Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1988 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Sven Nykvist Best Cinematography 1988 Winner
American Society of Cinematographers Sven Nykvist Best Cinematography 1988 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sven Nykvist Best Cinematography 1988 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jean-Claude Carrière Best Adapted Screenplay 1988 Nominee


Daniel Day-Lewis
as Tomas
Juliette Binoche
as Tereza
Lena Olin
as Sabina
Derek de Lint
as Franz
Erland Josephson
as The Ambassador
Donald Moffat
as Chief Surgeon
Pavel Landovsky
as Pavel
Daniel Olbrychski
as Interior Ministry Official
Stellan Skarsgård
as The Engineer
Laszlo Szabo
as Russian Interrogator
Bruce Myers
as Czech Editor
Clovis Cornillac
as Boy in Bar
Pavel Slaby
as Pavel's Nephew
Tomek Bork
as Jiri
Vladimir Valenta
as Mayer
Jacques Ciron
as Swiss Restaurant Manager
Leon Lissek
as Bold Man in Bar
Anne Lonnberg
as Swiss Photographer
Pascale Kalensky
as Nurse Katya
Consuelo de Havilland
as Tall Blonde


Philip Kaufman
Saul Zaentz
Jean-Claude Carrière
Philip Kaufman
Milan Kundera
Book Author
Sven Nykvist
Keith Richards
Composer (Music Score)
Ernie Fosselius
Composer (Music Score)
Stephen A. Rotter
B.J. Sears
Pierre Guffroy
Production Designer
Gerard Viard
Art Director
Paul Zaentz
Associate Producer
Bertil Ohlsson
Executive Producer
Ann Roth
Costume Designer
Alan Splet
Sound/Sound Designer
Eric Bartonio
First Assistant Director
Remy Julienne
Margot Capelier
Dianne Crittenden
Walter Murch
Supervising Editor
Suzanne Benoit