Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Movie Review: "A Man Called Ove" (2016)

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Movie"A Man Called Ove" / "En man som heter Ove"
Director: Hannes Holm
Year: 2016
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 56 minutes

An old curmudgeon reflects on his life through his repeated suicide attempts. However, with each failure, he finds another reason to live.

"A Man Called Ove" is written and directed by Hannes Holm, based on the novel by Fredrik Backman. It is a Swedish language film starring Rolf Lassgård as the titular Ove, a 59-year-old widower who has just been forced out of the company where he has worked at for decades. He is the type of man who is a stickler for the rules and will make sure anyone and everyone follows them, or else they will face a severe scolding. Ove seems angry at the world and is alone due to his wife's untimely passing. Because of this, he is planning on taking his own life. However, his new neighbor Parvaneh, played by Bahar Pars, and her family always seem to interrupt him at the most inopportune times.

As one may have guessed from its title, "A Man Called Ove" is a character study about a man called Ove. As Ove regularly attempts suicide, we see his reflections on his past, beginning when he was a child at age seven, played by Viktor Baagøe, and as a young adult, played by Filip Berg. The majority of the film, however, focuses on the elder Ove, played by the aforementioned Rolf Lassgård. Lassgård does a fantastic job as this aging crab who seems to hate anything and everything that enters his path. There is a lot of humor in his abrasiveness, as well as his failed attempts at suicide, oddly enough. Because of this, the humor is almost always dark, but it's funny nonetheless. Lassgård is the perfect choice for this grumpy gus of a character who shows his anger and sorrow on his face. The movie focuses a great deal on Ove's views of the younger generation and their lack of practical skills. This is especially true for his new neighbor Parvaneh's husband, who he calls a lazy freeloader any chance he gets. Also putting on a solid performance is Bahar Pars, who plays Ove's aforementioned very pregnant new neighbor and mother of two who, despite Ove's regular outbursts, is still very insistent on being there and befriending him against all odds. There is a lot of sadness in Ove's life, but also a lot of happiness as well. As we watched this movie, we could feel Ove's passion for his wife come through the screen and experience the love they shared together in every frame, bursting with tenderness and joy and happiness. After his wife passes, we also feel the despondency he pushes deep down inside, his outward anger projections towards anyone else he encounters, and loneliness all shoved into one complex man.

We really didn't know much about "A Man Called Ove" going into it, having never seen a trailer or synopsis for it, but we wound up loving and enjoying it a lot despite its depressing themes. It is definitely a film worth checking out if you enjoy dark humor and/or foreign films.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTEY YES!!!


  1. This one hasn't been in my city yet, so frustrating!!

  2. I rented this last week, but never got around to watching it. It just sat there accruing late fees.

    1. Did you return it already? We think you should check it out!