A Man Called Ove

There is indeed a man called Ove. He is a crotchety old man who rules his condo tenement with fierce rigidity. He’s aged out of his job and his wife has left him (well, died, but he’s such a grump I can only assume it was purposely, to escape him). I shouldn’t joke; his wife’s grave is the only time and place where he’s a little tender. Does he list her a litany of complaints? Of course he does. But only because the world’s gone to MV5BNTgzNDcxYzEtZDljOC00NDZmLTk2ZTAtOTVhM2Y1MWI1YzUyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMDc2NTEzMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1581,1000_AL_shit without her. The only reason he hasn’t committed suicide yet is the damn neighbours, who need constant monitoring and discipline, and who else would take it upon themselves to mete it out?

It turns out that Ove has had a pretty interesting life. It’s just that no one knows it because he isolates himself, sequestered in a condo that’s still a shrine to his dead wife. It’s only because some boisterous, needy new neighbors draw him out against his will that we learn the ups and downs that have contributed to his current thorny state. If you’re feeling like this sounds a little sentimental, well, it is. But it stays just shy of saccharine thanks to a nuanced performance by Rolf Lassgård in the title role. He never lets Ove go full-martyr, he keeps the role alive and flawed and beautiful. Ove’s may not exactly be a unique character arc, but it’s charmingly irresistible in Lassgård’s hands.

The film is a little predictable but so sweetly executed that I’m finding it hard to fault it. It’s surprisingly funny at times, mixing genres fairly deftly, making for a lovely, bittersweet, and humane character study that’s a pleasure to watch.

 

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18 thoughts on “A Man Called Ove

    1. Jay Post author

      I really tried to watch it around Oscar time but it disappeared from my local cinema too quickly. I just saw it on my Netflix and am so glad it’s there.

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  1. Liz A.

    Yeah, it sounds like we’ve seen this sort of thing before. But we need more stories about older people. Too much of the movies made are all about young people.

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  2. Birgit

    I reallly enjoyed this film even though it is predictable with the plot and the characters. I found it enchanting even though he is such a crusty s.o.b. I actually loved his nasty style like when he pushed down the garage door with the reporter inside. What I’m amazed at is I saw this movie 2 weeks ago and, possibly, before you! 😀

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  3. tarmac492

    Love your line about the wife perhaps leaving him(death) purposely because he is a grump. Great stuff. This sounds good. A film can walk on well traveled ground as long as it is done well.

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  4. Pingback: A Man Called Ove – MyAwesomesite

  5. reocochran

    I like familiar plots with unique and quirky characters inserted in them. Thank you, Jay! You sold me on this one!
    Oh, I saw an interesting love story, (not new) called, “Wake.” It really touched my heart. Did you ever see it and wondered if you liked it, too? Have a great week to you and the guys! 🙂

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