Movie Review: A Man Called Otto (2022)

In March of 2021 I watched a movie titled A Man Called Ove. It was a 2015 movie in Swedish, with English subtitles. I gave it four stars. Here is my review. 

One of my readers at the time commented that there was a Tom Hanks adaptation on the way, and here it is.

This review is difficult to write because I could just copy the Ove review here. It follows the script that closely.

Otto (Tom Hanks) is 59 years old and lives alone in a housing development somewhere in the northern United States, judging from the snow. He loses his job by a forced retirement program. His wife passed away from cancer six months before. He grieves badly and visits her grave every day. He has no relatives or children. He is the self-appointed master of the condominium association of his little community. He does not care about the official roles, and he rules with an iron fist. Daily rounds include checking whether the garbage recycling is done correctly and whether gates remain closed. Driving of any type in the community is forbidden, and leaving a bicycle out is a serious infraction. He is a true curmudgeon and the essence of a grumpy old man.

One day new neighbors move in across the street from his place. Marisol (Mariana Treviño) is from Mexico.  She has two young daughters,  and is pregnant with her next. Her husband is the opposite of handy and has difficulty even driving a car. Otto has them in his sights immediately.

Otto is seriously depressed and he attempts suicide several times in the movie, only to be interrupted by Marisol and her family. An unlikely friendship develops, and gradually he gets drawn back into a semblance of purpose.

A Man Called Otto incorporates many flashbacks to when Otto was young and his romance with his wife Sonya (Rachel Keller). Interestingly, the actor playing young Otto is Truman Hanks, Tom Hanks’ 27-year-old son.

A Man Called Otto is a well-crafted film about an ordinary man’s life from young adulthood to retirement. While I gave Ove four stars, I am giving Otto “only” three. It is a little awkward from time to time where Ove was nothing but authentic. But it’s a good movie, it draws out a tear or two, and it made me think of “the circle of life.”

You should go and see it.

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