Plot: As in his most recent films, Pupendo and Up and Down, Czech director Jan Hrebejk’s Beauty in Trouble looks at the impact of contemporary events on traditional Czech culture. In this latest offering, he deftly uses a romantic relationship between a beautiful young mother and an older, well-to-do Czech expatriate as a metaphor for moral upheaval and the allure of Western affluence in a post-Communist society. That he manages to do all of this in a completely entertaining and engrossing manner is a testament to his notable skill.
Financially ruined by the 2002 floods that wreaked havoc in Prague, Jarda (Roman Luknár) has resorted to stripping stolen cars in order to support his young family. His wife, Marcela (Ana Geislerová), can’t take the constant pressures of his life of crime and leaves him. With her two children in tow, she lands on the doorstep of her mother and her mean-spirited, small-minded stepfather, Richard (Jirí Schmitzer).
Meanwhile, Beneš (Josef Abrhám), a longtime Czech émigré now enjoying life at a vineyard in Tuscany, returns to Prague to claim a house that was taken by the Communists. Along the way, Beneš and Marcela connect and, despite their age difference, a gentle, almost naive courtship occurs. The older man clearly has conflicted feelings about his
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