A Man Called Otto movie review

Is it ‘grumpy old man yelling at clouds’ The Movie?

What’s it about?

While a stereotypical grumpy old man contemplates the senior years of his life without his wife, a lively young family moves in next door. Cue the unlikely friendship.

What did we think?

In many ways it’s a simple story that hits most of the right beats. An old widower who is almost determined to be angry about the rules and routines, raging against a world he no longer likes. His contemplation of it ending (or more precisely of his attempts to end it) is interrupted by a new addition to the neighborhood and we slowly learn the background information of some of the characters.

It’s high on charm and emotion though everything comes together far too smoothly (particularly the fact that nearly all of the neighbours who are constantly berated and yelled at don’t bite back) but there is an earnest feeling and payoff that will endear this film to many.

Based on a Swedish film called A Man Called Ove, this Hollywood adaptation is a little simpler and slicker and lacks some of the nuance of its European counterpart but is still a heartwarming, if somewhat predictable, film.

Damn kids
It’s light but genuine. The grumpy old man is of course lovable so it’s not a movie that pushes too many buttons outside of the almost comical suicide attempts.
Anthony has been reviewing movies for over 25 years (it may be longer now as he may have forgotten to add an extra year on). He lectures in journalism at the prestigious Queensland University of Technology and in addition to freelance writing, works with the charity Hands Across The Water. In a busy life, insomnia is his friend.
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