A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove - Released Sept 30, 2016 (USA). Directed by Hannes Holm

This Swedish language film which adapts from the novel of the same name seems like it picks up from where Goodbye, Mr Chips (1939) left off. Both feature a man who has a difficult relationship to a world that moves faster and in a dramatically different way than they're able to emotionally understand, and both men are dramatically able to make connections because of bright, smiling women who come into their lives

Those basic similarities aside, A Man Called Ove is not about a school teacher (like the famous Donat film) though a schoolteacher is a major element of this film from 2016. Ove (Rolf Lassgard) deals with the irritation and disasters of modern living in his small suburban Swedish community by trying to correct people who break the residential rules, for example driving cars on pedestrian paths. When he's not perfecting his environment, though, Ove is repeatedly trying to commit suicide by hanging himself in his living room, and director Holm gives these moments real tension but eventually, though it eventually leads to a comic moment.

Suicide is an effort for Ove to reunite himself with his dead wife, but other responsibilities keep barging into his existence and he is a stickler for getting the job done right. He eventually switches to suicide by shotgun blast, but this too goes awry when a young gay man of his acquaintance comes to his door seeking help because his family have kicked him out.

When Ove is unwillingly recruited to be an erstwhile grandfather for a Persian/Swedish couple with young daughters, he goes at it with efficiency but irritation, which the young girls delight in. We can observe it as the story unfolds, but Ove doesn't realize how much he is being dragged into a full and even satisfying life despite it being one he thought he was ready to exit.

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Original Page July 19, 2015 | Updated April 11, 2024