Empties (Vratné lahve)


Empties (Vratné lahve)

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Reviews Counted: 5

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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
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Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Movie Info

The long-anticipated seriocomedy Empties constitutes director Jan Sverak's third installment in his trilogy on aging that commenced with The Elementary School (1991) and continued with the beloved Kolya (1996). The filmmaker's father, Zdenak Sverak, stars as Josef Tkaloun, a curmudgeonly middle-aged lit teacher who grows exhausted from instructing his demanding, occasionally obnoxious students, and opts to take a hike - into an early retirement. Though his wife, Eliska (Daniela Kolarova) (to whom he has repeatedly been unfaithful) continues to tolerate his insensitivity, Josef quickly recognizes his own need for a daily grind, and thus heads into a series of random occupations, including bike messenger and bottle retriever in a grocery store. The latter proves particularly colorful, introducing Josef to a host of eccentric and occasionally funny co-workers. Meanwhile, Josef makes feeble attempts to set his hyper-devout daughter (Tatiana Vilhelmova) up with a crass former coworker (Jiri Machacek), and lapses into lusty fantasies about the headmistress of his former school (Nela Boudova) - endangering his marriage in the process. At the time of its release, this film reportedly netted a greater profit than any movie in Czech history.

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Critic Reviews for Empties (Vratné lahve)

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (3)

  • In Empties, father-son Czech collaborators in the Oscar-winning Kolya focus on how poorly a cantankerous high school teacher adapts to what amounts to forced retirement.

    Jun 5, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Sverak's work anchors a cast that delivers a series of delicately executed performances as the actors bring to life a great range of lightly comic characters.

    Sep 6, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Under Sverak's shrewdly unforced direction, other thesps are natural and appealing.

    Jul 21, 2007 | Full Review…

    Eddie Cockrell

    Top Critic
  • [An] affecting Czech sort-of-romantic comedy.

    Jun 5, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • For Vratné lahve (Empties), the Czech father and son duo Zdenek and Jan Sverák only slightly rework the recipe for their Oscar-winning film Kolya.

    Jul 18, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Empties (Vratné lahve)


Beautiful little film. You can see some of the magic of Kolya has been replicated here. I think there is a part of me in Zdenak Sverak's character...without the age of course.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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