» » Польская свадьба (1998)

Short summary

The film centers on a big Polish family. Jadzia is the mother and the ruler of the Pzoniak family (she has five children). Though she's happily married to Bolek, she is also having a ... See full summary
The film centers on a big Polish family. Jadzia is the mother and the ruler of the Pzoniak family (she has five children). Though she's happily married to Bolek, she is also having a long-time affair with Roman. Her young daughter Hala is having an affair with neighbour cop Russell and becomes pregnant by him. Russell is pressed hard to marry Hala.

Trailers "Польская свадьба (1998)"

First screen appearance by 'Veronica Mars' star Kristen Bell, as an uncredited teen neighbor.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Phain
    The thing that made this movie most compelling for me was the fact that it showed what work the characters do. With most Hollywood movies it appears that everyone is either independently wealthy or a FBI/NSA/CIA agent. With Polish Wedding, you went to work with the characters, and it wasn't glamourous at all, but it was real.

    I'm surprised from all the comments on the lack of plot. It was a slice of life. Does your life have a plot? Mine either. That was another reason I really enjoyed the film. It was like living with another family for a short time and seeing how they live.

    It was quirky and serious, tender and harsh and quite credible acting all around--save for Clare Danes. Her range seems quite limited.

    I'm not Polish, nor Catholic (I'm an atheist), but I did think the things that happened in the movie made sense. I've read other comments that it's not how their Polish family was. Oh well, I don't think my family was exactly like any other family in the world either.

    Don't watch this if you're expecting edge-of-your seat drama, steamy sex and car chases. But if you're in the mood for an intimate and fun look at a working class family, then this is one for you. I rank it nearly as good as The Sweet Hereafter for its realism.

    My rating: 7
  • comment
    • Author: Ichalote
    What was that? Veni, vidi and lol!

    If that was authentic vision of polish family (with some kind of poorly-made Balkan music in background) I have one, fundamental question - where the hell I live?

    Auhors had no idea about polish culture and society, when they created that horrible movie. If there is even minimal piece of true in this, i'm packing my little, yellow rucksack and beginning journey to find mythical, fromPolishWeddingish Poland.

    Don't watch it, please, waste of time and braincells! You going to die in never-ending, intellectual pain, if your imagination is fastidious. Use it on your enemies!!!
  • comment
    • Author: Kagrel
    I've just seen this movie. Polish Wedding was widely discussed in the Polish media and was regarded very controversial because of the way it described Polish society in America. I have some thoughts about it: 1. Movie misses a plot. It consists of several scenes that loosely linked. 2. Writer seems to have very faint knowledge about Polish culture and Poles. Poles don't eat pierogis every day on every meal :-) They don't smoke more than other nationalities. Music seemed to be rather Balkan. There are many Polish names but I don't recognize many Polish features and it completely misses Polish family atmosphere. 3. People kneeling before Hala crowned with garland. What was that? Does Teresa Conelly think that Poles recognized in her Virgin Mary? It's totally stupid scene.
  • comment
    • Author: Gardagar
    I personally think this movie was awful. The only research done on Polish people was the names. This movie made Polish people out to be cigarette-smoking, sleeping around, baby-obsessed liars, which is completely untrue. Who had the dumb idea to do this movie anyways?
  • comment
    • Author: Velellan
    Polish Wedding was a film that was not quite popular, but I wanted to see it to make my own assumptions. Sadly I was quite disappointed in most aspects of this film. The story is supposed to be about a blue -collar Polish family in Detroit whose members are all struggling with their love and hatred for each other. The mother played by Lena Olin, is self obsessed - caring only for her control of her children and love affair. The father is a tired baker, who sees the holes in his family but is reluctant to face them. Claire Danes plays their 'free spirit' of a daughter, who wanders alleyways at night with strange boys and ends up pregnant. The film technique and art direction is a contrasting mix of urban ugliness and natural beauty. There are some notably beautiful scenes for which I must give some credit. Aside from this one point of merit, the rest of the film falls short of what I expected. First of all, the characters are really unrealistic. Being part Polish, I found the accents to be contrived and the whole feel of the family to be unfamiliar. The characters were interesting at first, but due to lack of development, become increasingly boring as time goes on. I tried, with great effort, to see where the title becomes relevant in this film, but there is no hint of a wedding in this film - Dane's character just waltzes to the boys house in a wedding gown - actually convinced she will get married ???? I think this film might have been a real jewel if the story had moved a little more quickly and if the characters had not been so flat and un-dynamic. Anyone with a hint of Polish in their blood might even find this film more offensive that self-relevant. It casts a bad picture onto a people with a far more interesting family tradition than is seen in this artificial construction.
  • comment
    • Author: Sadaron above the Gods
    What the????

    Why are these characters supposed to be Polish, and why does the story take place in the present? It seems to be located somewhere in the 50's or 60's in terms of its attitudes and characters. It seems to be located far from urban America in terms of the wacky behavior of its characters. I can't relate to it in any way.

    Lena Olin gets my award for the worst accent in the history of film. What was she thinking of? You know, Lena, the reason Meryl Streep gets all those accents right is not just because she's talented (though she is), but because she studies every word, every nuance of the rhythm. What were you thinking of with those rolling Hungarian r's and those throat-clearing Yiddish "ch" sounds.

    Why didn't they just make this a family of Potsylvanians living in Crovenia in some dimly-remembered post-war era, and none of this would have bothered me.

    As for Gabriel Byrne, this usually talented actor obviously decided not to bother with the accent or the whole damned movie for that matter, and he called in his part. He obviously realized this was no Sophie's Choice, and he just collected his paycheck. In some scenes he used a heavy accent, sometimes a lighter one, sometimes none at all ... one of those Kevin Costner things. On the other hand, Byrne's relationship with his daughter (a capable Claire Danes) was the best part of the movie, although that isn't saying much.

    I could only find one hint that the characters were actually Polish ... I think they mentioned Pierogi once.

    Forget this turkey. It has a few good moments, but they aren't worth the effort.
  • comment
    • Author: Vizuru
    When is this movie supposed to have taken place? I live in Detroit (or, ok, a suburb thereof) and this movie is definitely confused. First of all, Lena Olin wears a uniform for some meeting that looks like its from the 40's. The police car looks like its from the 70's. Gabriel Byrne's character acts like he's from the 50's and Clair Danes' promiscuous character is definitely suited to the 90's, with 80's hair.

    The film was actually shot in a suburb quite a ways from Detroit that is known for having a large Polish community. That's about the only polish influence in the movie. Everything else is just horniness run amuck.

    A horrible,pointless film in which the actors are way too good for the script, I was not surprised to see that the writer/director has done nothing else since. Let's hope her urge to create remains dormant and spares us another two-hours-of-my-life-that-i'll-never-get-back feeling.
  • comment
    • Author: Opimath
    i don't have any clue how i sat through this. aimless, pointless, and so not polish. i'm half polish, from pennsylvania coal miners and i never met any poles like these people. shame on everyone involved. next time they should do a little homework, not just a run with a "high concept" idea. even if it had just been a parody of the culture it would have been ok, but it wasn't even that. the virgin procession? the mom's accent? god! what was that? sorry, but this was awful, just awful.
  • comment
    • Author: IWAS
    Polish Wedding is an amatuerish effort. Whereas a film like 'In the Company of Men" succeeds through an innovative idea, strong acting performances and passionate filmmaking, Polish Wedding has none of this.

    Claire Danes is wonderful on-screen, yet miscast in most every film she's played. Gabriel Byrne continues a succession of non-descript performances in non-descript films. Good idea dressing up Lena Olin as a janitor, cleaning toilets in full makeup.

    There's a nice screaming baby sequence in the 1st ten minutes that will drive you away quicker than the poorly used musical score.

    Pass. Big time.
  • comment
    • Author: Fararala
    I almost always look at reviews here on IMDb before I see a movie, this time I'm really glad that I didn't. Can't really see why there are so many poor reviews... If you're in the right mood this movie can be really rewarding. It's not perfect by any means but some of the scenes are mesmerizing! The acting is great all around and the atmosphere is really cool. Most of the dialogue is pretty weird and funny but also sad and emotional at times.

    Anyway, just give it a few minutes and I'm sure many of you will get into it!

    see it....
  • comment
    • Author: Dianaghma
    i cant believe that they ever approved production of this movie. it was one of the worst and unrealistic movies i have ever seen. its portrayal of the polish community was a load of BS. The only thing that was polish in this movie was the ogorki, which didn't look half bad , sadly i cant say the same goes for the rest of this film, which obviously was made by someone who didn't really like polish people.Save yourself two hours of your life and do not, i repeat DO NOT waste your time watching this movie, instead spend your time and money elsewhere i recommend you head to blockbuster and rent my big fat Greek wedding, now that was at least funny.
  • comment
    • Author: Wyameluna
    Most of the other respondents to this movie were Polish (or descended). I am neither. In fact, I'll admit to being of pure German stock. They (Polish people) were understandably offended by this movie. But this movie (a hate movie) goes beyond being offensive to a nationality of people. It attempts to tag morality, Polish people, and Christianity (of the Catholic kind) all as hypocrites. This movie is a propaganda film which people had to pay money to see!!!??? Leni Reifenstahl made better movies fur Der Furher than this one is!!!

    If you remember hearing Polish jokes as a kid, they weren't funny, and were very insipid, just think of this movie as an attempt to take those jokes and turn them into a movie. Would you pay money for this? I sat through (as in: "endured") this movie to gather information about it when it was ended (thankfully).

    If you're just looking for entertainment, this movie fails miserably. The only other value this movie could have is its value as a hate film.
  • comment
    • Author: Questanthr
    This movie is highly entertaining with unpredictable, character-driven, plot twists that pull you in like the smell of comfort food cooking in the kitchen. The story itself is a grand view into the mundane working world of fighting, resentments, loyalty and ultimate forgiveness, of a large Polish family all living together in the same house.

    Mother and daughter are powerful and attractive and the men alternately ignore them, wait for them, and chase after them. The matriarch of the family is romantically unfulfilled but finds meaning and purpose in the context of her family and children. The daughter is growing into adulthood and recognizing her feminine power in the context of a budding relationship but, like her mother before her, ultimately trapped.

    The members of this emotional but practical Polish immigrant family don't live life, life lives them. The characters and performances make this movie well worth watching.
  • comment
    • Author: Slowly writer
    A brilliant film! Catch it if you can.

    The countless subtle details are what makes this movie so outstanding. Sexuality is integral to every scene; every moment of each character's life, as each one lives life to the maximum. Religiosity is a central secondary theme as sacred icons hang on humble walls calling our attention as they did in "The Godfather" when the solemn liturgical mass was shockingly intertwined with blood-thirsty killing sprees.

    Don't look for any Pamela Anderson diva here. Our darling pubescent victim is a flat-chested angel with long blonde hair, tresses freshly sprung from hot rollers. Her underdeveloped chest is an aspect I find most wonderful about this film. It is a feature that makes the plot real and believable, and I enthusiastically applaud the director's rejection of the Playboy Bunny stereotype.

    Lifelong sexuality between husband and wife is a powerful echo througout the movie. At one point, the daughter scolds her father with: "You wait for her like a dog." He responds, in a voice full of wisdom beyone his character's range, "Don't we all wait like dogs?"

    We know why this dutiful, hard-working, baker puts up with the heartache heaped upon him by his wife. He tells us why. His answer when his wife asks why he was afraid to marry her when they were wild young kids is: "I was scared of Life. . . especially the Life that was spilling out of you!" This is a thread that uplifted me as I left the movie theatre. Love, no matter how flawed, will survive.

    The husband watches as his wife leaves in the evening to meet her lover; she is always dressed in a uniform reminiscent of the Daughters of the American Revolution. This visual symbol of her infidelity becomes comical. We watch as the secret lovers embrace, but we know that she is viscerally committed to her husband and will end up with him. We know this because the wife tells us in a number of scenes that Family, or rather Procreation, is her fundamental priority. When describing her family to her lover, she announces triumphantly: "I MADE them." Her adult offspring are fully aware of their mother's throbbing sexuality, and yet they all seem to forgive it.

    The genetic continuity of life looms large as another theme; for example, the very last words spoken are by the daughter holding her new infant up and saying, "That's your Grandma; isn't she beautiful?"

    Florid sex.. . passionate interludes, however reckless. . . loss of virginity.. patience when an adored one goes astray.. . balancing the dichotomy of religion and passion.. . "Polish Wedding" floods light on all these impossible metaphors in a most luminous way.
  • comment
    • Author: Manesenci
    I really liked this film. It has a certain charm to it, one that seems almost subliminal,because its always there. Instead of painting a flat, uninteresting portrait of a polish family who is somewhat stranded in "Motor City", the plot of "Polish Wedding", unravels slowly, and leaves you wanting more. It takes you through their everyday life; their joy, their pain, and yes, even their betrayal towards one and other. This film has something that is rarely seen in cinema today, good, well acted characters. Each of them demonstrate a realism within their roles, as if that is who they really are. During parts of this movie, you feel as though you're looking through a window, instead of lounging on the couch in front of the t.v. In the 1h 50min's, or so of "Wedding", one comes to know a baker, a house-wife, a dropout, and a "bad-boy" cop. The sloue of emotion in this film is what truly sets it apart from some of the more heavily advertised of the year. It is a great film, a truly great film, and one that surely deserves a renting or two.
  • comment
    • Author: Spilberg
    Okay, so it's not an awesome movie, nor one I'd bother with in the movies, but as a rental, it's worth fast forwarding through the occasional slow and uninteresting parts to the funny lives of the people of this family.

    Sure, nothing is like it seems ala the title, and it's quite funny to see how everyone's problem is aptly hidden from the other family members, only to be discovered by awkward accident later on.

    Yet, despite the decent acting, one wonders after the movie was it worth it? Did it give you, the viewer, anything special to take with you? To inspire you? To give you comfort in the real world? Well, no. And that's fine, but one wishes it was a notch better and more refined so you could believe that only an ordinary life was not all that they were left with in the end.
  • comment
    • Author: AnnyMars
    I have recently spent ninety of the most painful minutes of my movie-viewing life watching a film called "Polish Wedding". Apparently, this film was supposed to be one of those warm-heated slice of life tales about a colorful ethnic family living and kvetching in big city USA. Detroit, from the looks of the place, but I can't be sure. Plotless, pointless, and ultimately offensive, this film is a disaster. The first ominous sign is the opening credits. No one in the cast and crew seemed to be remotely Polish. This movie features a Swede (Lena Olin, doing a bad Natasha Fatale accent) an Irishman (Gabriel Byrne,even worse) and a sickly-sweet all-American girl (Claire Danes, who should be barred from doing movies forever). Having lived in Chicago for several years, and having married a second generation Polish girl, I can honestly say that the characters in this film resemble no Poles that I have ever met. The "Poles" in this movie are the same lazy, drunken, selfish louts that idiot writers have variously identified as Irish, Greek,Italian, Jewish, Spanish, and other ethnic groups in the past five or six decades. I guess it was the Poles turn now. I don't think it's malicious, I think it's just laziness.

    But it's a real pity. The Poles have a rich culture that is worth making a good movie out of. I have to go now. My normally lovely, sweet-tempered wife is screaming obscenities and threatening to throw the TV out the window.
  • comment
    • Author: Taun
    I do not know where the person that wrote this movie is from; but, for sure not in Poland. Using Polish names and Polish food is not about a family from Poland - it takes more than this to be Polish oriented. It was very little humor/comedy in this movie - where was it at. Where was the "Polish Wedding"? They didn't even show the wedding. Why was Russian music used in this movie about Poles? I would like to see the producer & director in court for disrespect to the entire Polish Nation. Thank-you.
  • comment
    • Author: Gardall
    I really couldn't find anything that made this movie seem like it was supposed to be set in late 70's or early 80's as the "goofs" part suggested. The cars in the neighborhood are all probably older vehics from the 80's because it's a working class Detroit neighborhood...not the upper middle class suburbs we're used to viewing in movies. There were no songs, or major fashion diplays that would lead one to think it's from the late 70's. I have never though of the movie as being from anything other than the mid 90's, the same timne it was released. Where I live the police cars are all new (the last few years). Does anyone know why someone thought it was from an earlier decade?
  • comment
    • Author: Fearlessdweller
    Maybe I just have a crush on Lena Olin, but this film shines (rather glows) with slightly larger than life characterizations of a sentiment that is distinctly European. There is, for instance, none of the hideous preciousness of the depiction of children in American films. Adults interact with children with authority and a tragic sensitivity. The children have their wisdom and their fate, which will be no more nor less than that of their parents. Anger is sparked, but humane compassion prevails.

    Above all, there is a zest for life which coexists with a recognition of life's tragedies -- in contrast with Disney, the Hollywood family drama or comedy film, and especially the offensively polyanna-ish 'Life is Beautiful" (Italian, but Hollywood loved it and Oscared it).

    The critics panned this film. Each of them praises the Lena Olin character, but reject it as not fitting a priori standards of credibility (it is after all an immigrant and first generation family in a Polish neighborhood, the confluence of two cultures. Why did we not hear criticism of the glaring anachronisms in the young man's 1950's dialog in 'Gods and Monsters?'). But maybe I just have a crush on Lena Olin, and yield to it, while the critics are reserved.
  • comment
    • Author: Garr
    Maybe the script writer and director is not very familiar with East-European culture and music, but she has created a movie which I surely can call "vivid". Actors playing really good (Gabriel Byrne especially), characters are shown very well. Plot is simple (plot is not the main thing in movies, I should say), there's no kind of declaration, just life and nice people with all their good and bad sides, painted very good - that's what I appreciate in movies.
  • comment
    • Author: Direbringer
    The Positive:

    This movie contained many sweet moments, between family members. The script had been taken a step further away from words, and straight into the heart and idealistics of acting. Since there may have been, a lack of script, it seems to me there was an absolute pinpoint of a writers affirmation of certainty, e.g: "This is how I want my words to appear exactly as life".

    A wonderful feat has been achieved to prove that families indeed do stay together, and can make it through anything. Identifying with the midlife crisis, and being a woman myself, I commend this script for showing how to not necessarily condone outside relationships, but for showing how to forgive and accept.

    Unconditional love is the key to this movie. One that I believe we all can identify with in one way or another. Many, Many things to see in this film, as you go along. Symbolism is very high on the ladder of ideals, which may have you watching this movie twice, but well worth it!

    The Negative: The setting, Detroit, was not believable. This was a styled like foreign film localed in a large city, with a smaller city appearance.
  • comment
    • Author: Wrathshaper
    For some uncanny reason Polish Wedding showed at the foreign theater in Denver, and received minimal attention from critics. I find this to be a bit upsetting because Polish Wedding is a wonderful story of Poles living in Detroit. Claire Danes is stunningly beautiful and looks absolutely angelical, although her character has the naughty side to her that is evident in many teenage girls. Lena Olin is great as the matriarch of this expanding Polish family who has a penchant for Pickles.
  • comment
    • Author: Yozshujinn
    For us, it was a nice movie about relationships: between a mother and her family, between a father and daughter, between a sister and her little brother, between the women in an extended family. It's about family roles, and the role of child rearing in solidifying relationships over time, and thus creating families. It's about sexuality, and how it both drives and conflicts with family structures. It's about seeing the different stages of life within a family all at once.

    We liked all of the actors, and enjoyed the use of smoking, religious rituals, and food in unfolding the story. In short, if you're affected by the portrayal of relationships and aren't bothered by the aspects mentioned, you might enjoy it with your significant other, too.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Claire Danes Claire Danes - Hala
    Jon Bradford Jon Bradford - Sailor
    Lena Olin Lena Olin - Jadzia
    Ramsey Krull Ramsey Krull - Kris
    Gabriel Byrne Gabriel Byrne - Bolek
    Daniel Lapaine Daniel Lapaine - Ziggy
    Rachel Morrin Rachel Morrin - Ziggy & Sofie's Baby
    Rebecca Morrin Rebecca Morrin - Ziggy & Sofie's Baby
    Mili Avital Mili Avital - Sofie
    Steven Petrarca Steven Petrarca - Witek
    Brian Hoyt Brian Hoyt - Kaz
    Christina Romana Lypeckyj Christina Romana Lypeckyj - Kasia
    Peter Carey Peter Carey - Piotrus
    Rade Serbedzija Rade Serbedzija - Roman
    Ryan Spahn Ryan Spahn - Kid
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