A Man Called Ove
Ove (Lassgard) is a cantankerous, reclusive retiree who spends his days enforcing block association rules and visiting his wife's grave. He has finally given up on life just as an unlikely friendship develops with his boisterous new neighbours. So, basically, a drama / comedy about unexpected friendship, love and the importance of surrounding yourself with the proper tools.
This film is heart-warming, outrageously funny and full of sarcasm, so it had me at hello. Although I may never forgive the writers for swiping Robert Heinlein's quote when Ove says "Whatever we do in this life, no one gets out of it alive." Although Heinlein said it a bit differently, the quote is firmly attached to his name. Too soon.
The film is from the Bestselling Novel of the same name by Fredrik Backman, published in 2013. Third time this month I've come across an original film script taken from a book, my hopes are high that this is a continuing trend.
The storyline, which is told piecemeal, is both grim and uplifting. Ove's tale is very sad because, as a boy, his Mother dies, he loses his Father in a train accident and years later his wife loses their Baby and the use of her legs in a Bus crash. Thus giving the viewer an idea of what Ove has had to deal with and why he is the definition of a grumpy old man.
Ove's new neighbours overwhelm him because they are boisterous and disruptive. But when they accidently flatten Ove's mailbox, an unlikely friendship forms. Hence, the tool reference.
Ove continually tries to kill himself after the Death of his wife. His new neighbour, Parvaneh (Bahar Pars), spouts frankly, "You're amazingly crap at dying". And, it is true, as Ove is unable to do the deed due to distractions and interruptions by "those" people and their animals.
The sequences with "the Audi driving yuppie across the street" are some of the most comical scenes in the film. Ove himself is hilarious with his pickiness and pointless enforcement of the "block rules".
Ove dies naturally of a heart attack eventually and his wife, Sonja (Ida Engvoll), appears to him after the funeral. The suggestion being that they leave together, finally.
A Man Called Ove is very well written and directed, kudos to director Hannes Holm, who has created a successful mixture of melodrama and black comedy. Rolf Lassgard's performance as Ove is outstanding and he deserves accolades for it. Love. Love. Love.
The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Oscars.
So very surprised that the Box Office tapered out at around $3.4mil Worldwide. Perhaps Hanks' version will do better, his character performances are his best work. I feel horrific guilt just writing the suggestion of a reboot of this particular film.