‘Ice Mother’ (Bába z ledu) Named Best Film of 2017 at Czech Lion Awards

Bohdan Sláma’s Ice Mother (Bába z ledu), which set a record earlier this year with 15 nominations at the Czech Lion Awards (the local version of the Oscars), was the expected big winner on Saturday night at the awards ceremony broadcast live from Prague’s Rudolfinum.

A drama about a grandmother who takes up swimming in the ice-cold waters of the Vltava river in Prague during the winter, Ice Mother was a decent-enough film (read my review from last March here) but a poor choice for the best Czech film of the year in a banner year for Czech cinema.

Jan Svěrák’s Barefoot (Po strništi bos), a prequel to the Oscar-winning Kolya and easily the best Czech film I saw last year (here’s my review of Barefoot), won awards for Supporting Actor Oldřich Kaiser, Cinematography (Vladimír Smutný), and Sound Editing (Jakub Čech and Claus Lynge).

Jan Hřebejk and writer Petr Jarchovský outstanding Garden Store trilogy, a trio of theatrical films depicting life in Czechoslovakia from the early 1940s through the late 1950s, were all unrecognized at this year’s Czech Lion Awards.

Ice Mother, meanwhile, won six Czech Lions for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay (Sláma), Actress (Zuzana Kronerová), Actor (Pavel Nový), and Supporting Actress (Petra Špalková).

Olga Sommerová’s Červená, a portrait of the iconic Czech opera singer, deservedly won the top prize for Best Documentary.

The well-intentioned biopic Milada, about Czech politician and victim of communism Milada Horáková, took home Czech Lion awards for Best Costume Design and Makeup and Hairstyling. 

Václav Kadrnka’s Little Crusader, which became the first Czech film in 15 years to win the top prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival last summer, took home a single Czech Lion for Best Music (Irena and Vojtěch Havel).

Here’s the complete list of 2018 Czech Lion Award winners and nominees, with winners highlighted in bold:

Best Film:

Ice Mother (Bába z ledu) 

Barefoot (Po strništi bos
Filthy (Špína
Quartette (Kvarteto)

Best Documentary:


Czech Journal: The Limits of Work (Český žurnál: Hranice práce)
The Taste of Power (Mečiar)
Let Mišík Sing (Nechte zpívat Mišíka
The White World According to Daliborek (Svět pole Daliborka)

Best Director:

Ice Mother (Bohdan Sláma)

Barefoot (Jan Svěrák)
Filthy (Tereza Nvotová)
Little Crusader (Václav Kadrnka)
Quartette (Miroslav Krobot)

Best Actress:

Ice Mother (Zuzana Kronerová)

Barefoot (Tereza Voříšková)
Filthy (Dominika Morávková)
Milada (Ayelet Zurer)
Quartette (Barbora Poláková)

Best Actor:

Ice Mother (Pavel Nový)

Barefoot (Ondřej Vetchý)
Little Crusader (Karel Roden)
Milada (Vladimír Javorský)
Quartette (Jaroslav Plesl)

Best Supporting Actress:

Ice Mother (Petra Špalková)

Filthy (Anna Šišková)
The Garden Store: Deserter (Sabina Remundová)
Ice Mother (Tatiana Vilhelmová)
Quartette (Pavlína Štorková)

Best Supporting Actor:

Barefoot (Oldřich Kaiser)

Filthy (Patrik Holubář)
The Garden Store: Deserter (Martin Finger)
Ice Mother (Marek Daniel)
Ice Mother (Václav Neužil)

Best Screenplay:

Ice Mother (Bohdan Sláma)

Barefoot (Jan Svěrák, Zdeněk Svěrák)
Filthy (Barbora Námerová)
Little Crusader (Jiří Soukup, Vojtěch Mašek, Václav Kadrnka)
Quartette (Miroslav Krobot, Lubomír Smékal)

Best Cinematography:

Barefoot (Vladimír Smutný)

Filthy (Marek Dvořák)
Ice Mother (Diviš Marek)
Little Crusader (Jan Baset Střítežský)
Milada (Martin Štrba)

Best Editing:

Filthy (Jiří Brožek, Michal Lánský, Jana Vlčková)

Barefoot (Alois Fišárek)
Ice Mother (Jan Daňhel)
Milada (Olina Kaufmanová)
Quartette (Jan Daňhel)

Best Sound:

Barefoot (Jakub Čech, Claus Lynge)

Ice Mother (Michal Holubec, Marek Poledna)
Little Crusader (Jan Čeněk)
Milada (Jiří Klenka)
Quartette (Viktor Ekrt)

Best Music:

Little Crusader (Irena and Vojtěch Havel)

Barefoot (Michal Novinski)
The Garden Store: Family Friend (Petr Ostrouchov)
8 Heads of Madness (8 hlav šílenství, Vladivojna La Chia)
Milada (Aleš Březina, Drew Alan)

Best Art Direction:

Lajka (Aurel Klimt, Martin Velíšek, František Lipták)

Barefoot (Jan Vlasák)
Ice Mother (Jan Vlasák)
Little Crusader (Luca Servino, Daniel Pitín)
Milada (Milan Býček)

Best Costume Design:

Milada (Simona Rybáková)

Barefoot (Simona Rybáková)
The Garden Store: Family Friend (Katarína Štrbová Bieliková)
Ice Mother (Zuzana Krejzková)
Little Crusader (Katarína Štrbová Bieliková)

Best Makeup:

Milada (Andrea McDonald)

Barefoot (Milan Vlček)
The Garden Store: Family Friend (Zdeněk Klika)
Ice Mother (Zdeněk Klika)
Little Crusader (Lukáš Král)


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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