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Drama - Family

A Man Called Otto (2022)

Duration2h 6m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 11
Source of storyA book “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman and a Swedish film of that name.
DirectorMarc Foster
Writers/ScriptDavid Magee
StarringTom Hanks, Mariana Treviño,  Rachel Keller,
RatingsIMDb: 6.8/10 by 647 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 67% by 45 reviewers. Review2view: 6/10.

Summary: Otto Anderson is a grumpy retiree who finds fault with everything in the world he inhabits which is a gated street. He has accepted redundancy and his wife has died leaving him with no option, as he sees it but to commit suicide. However a new family has moved in opposite his house, led by the sparky Marisol, a lady of Central American origins. Every time Otto lines up to terminate himself she interrupts him for one reason or another. Gradually Otto ceases to be quite such a grump, although we see flashbacks to his past life, including his joys and a tragedy. As time passes, Otto takes a paper boy under his wing, and rescues a cat frozen in the snow. Maybe life might be worth living.

Content: No sex or nudity, and possibly just a bit of drinking during Otto’s romance as a younger man. Much of the drama takes place in the street where he has always lived, a line of terraced houses on each side, all of them identical. A subplot involved one of the neighbours, a husband who has advanced cerebral palsy, their house being targeted by a realtor company aided by their estranged son. There are scenes of Otto’s attempts at suicide, and the interruptions, and those with dark thoughts should be reminded that most suicides do not have the luck of being interrupted.

A View: I have been surprised to learn that the film is not yet on general release in America so it has more criticism to go and it has not been loved so far, despite the presence of national treasure Tom Hanks. We, my wife and I, were put off by the fact that the young Otto looked nothing like the old one, but this might be because we know what the young Tom Hanks looked like. And honestly some aspects of the subplot did not really work, and maybe Otto’s life contained one tragedy too far, all of it making the plot totally predictable. I felt it was sort of “Gran Torino” light. So maybe wait until you can watch it on line.

Tom Hanks has an incredible filmography. Many of his more outstanding performances are reviewed on this site, including Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away and the fantastic Elvis from last year. 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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