Anthony Hopkins and Lena Olin in One Life (2023)

Nicholas Winton biopic ‘One Life’ to premiere in Prague cinemas from February 1

One Life, the Nicholas Winton biopic starring Anthony Hopkins that was largely filmed in Prague in 2022 and opened in UK cinemas on New Year’s Day, will premiere in the Czech Republic on February 1. The movie will be distributed locally by Vertical Entertainment.

Directed by James Hawes, One Life stars Hopkins as the elder Winton, who famously appeared on the BBC show That’s Life! in the 1980s, where he was reunited with the some of the 669 Jewish children he helped save on the eve of WWII by arranging their transport from Prague to London.

For 40 years, Winton’s story had largely been kept secret, with the former stockbroker never seeking recognition for his courageous act.

Johnny Flynn in One Life (2023)
Johnny Flynn in One Life (2023)

Johnny Flynn portrays the younger Winton in One Life, alongside Helena Bonham-Carter as his mother and Romola Garai and Alex Sharp as colleagues who assisted in the rescue mission. Lena Olin stars alongside Hopkins as Winton’s wife Grete, and Samantha Spiro plays That’s Life! presenter Esther Rantzen. Jonathan Pryce also co-stars.

In Prague, One Life shot at the city’s Main Train Station, which was the actual location the trains carrying ‘Winton’s children’ took off from. Today, a statue of Winton stands at the train station.

One Life also filmed in Prague’s Jewish Quarter (Josefov), by Prague Castle at Hradčanské náměstí and Pohořelec, at the Radnické schody steps in Malá Strana, on Mánes Bridge, and at locations on Hybernská, Opletalova, Politických vězňů and Kanovnická streets.

Outside of Prague, One Life also filmed at locations in Liberec, Plzeň, Chomutov, Veltrusy, and the Slapy Chateau. The film also shot on location in the United Kingdom, but reportedly moved the production of some scenes to the Czech Republic due to ongoing Covid regulations.

Anthony Hopkins in One Life (2023)
Anthony Hopkins in One Life (2023)

One Life drew some awards-season buzz when it premiered at fall film festivals last year, with multiple reviewers citing Hopkins’ performance as a potential Best Actor candidate. But the film will probably have to wait to 2025 for potential Oscar nominations, as it still lacks a U.S. distributor and does not appear to have received an awards-qualifying run stateside in 2023.

(10/1 UPDATE: Director James Hawes has let us know that One Life does indeed have a U.S. distributor, and will be released in the states in the next few months.)

It should be eligible for BAFTA awards, however, after premiering in the United Kingdom this past weekend. The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw lavished some praise upon One Life in a recent four-star review.

“You’d need a heart of stone not to be touched by this extraordinary true story of Nicholas Winton, the ‘British Schindler’, and by the simplicity and heartfelt directness with which it’s told by screenwriters Nick Drake and Lucinda Coxon and director James Hawes,” Bradshaw writes.

Look for One Life to premiere in cinemas throughout the Czech Republic from Thursday, February 1.

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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.

One Response

  1. Can’t wait to see this. I am surprised it was not released in the US, this story is prime Oscar material, and Hopkins is presumably excellent in the lead.

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