Stepping from the pages of Fredrik Backman's international best-selling novel, Ove is the quintessential grumpy old man next door, with strict principles and a short fuse. Still grieving his late wife, Ove has largely given up on life until a boisterous young family moves in next door and forces him out of his shell in this heartwarming tale that reminds us that life is sweeter when it's shared. [Audio in Swedish. Subtitles available]
A wonderful adaptation, wonderfully acted. There are a few instances from the book left out of the film. As much as I loved them in the former they turned out to be unimportant in the latter because none of the heart and soul was lost. Syrupy? Yes, there is a bit of that; however, it is just the right amount to tell this lovely story and with all the cruelty and suffering in the world today... well, I don't know about you but I needed every sip of it.
One of my favorites books has now become one of my favorites movies. Very faithful and loving film adaptation. Follows the book probably more than any other film verision of a book I have ever seen. Funny, heartwarming, heartwrenching, everything you felt during the book, you will feel watching the movie. Even the housing development was how I pictured it. The acting is wonderful, especially all three actors that play Ove. The young adult Ove looks so similar to the present day Ove you can believe the actors must be father and son. Parvaneh is wonderful also, would love a sequel written about her and her family.
PLEASE NOTE however...YOU MUST OWN A DEVICE THAT PLAYS SUBTITLES. And for those people giving this wonderful movie one star because they couldn't see the subtitles...STOP IT. Take it up with Amazon. Rate the movie, not the fact your device can't handle it. Mine couldnt, and I contacted Amazon to find out the reason why (turns our my blu-ray is too old a model). Thats my problem, not Amazon's. We are able to view it another way.
Anyway....if you loved the book..you must see this film.
"A Man Called Ove" (2015 release from Sweden, 116 min.) brings the story of 59 yr. old Ove. As the movie opens, we see him bickering in a store over the price of flowers on his way to visit his wife Sonja's grave. Not long thereafter, he is given the boot at work, after a 43 yr. career in train maintenance. This leaves him with plenty of time to do the rounds of the small (and traffic-free) community where he lives. Then a young family moves in across the street, not knowing the many strict rules of the community. All along, Ove can't wait to join his beloved Sonja in the hereafter. At this point we're 15 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: first of all, if you have seen the trailer, you are probably expecting something along the line of that other recent Swedish movie, the funny and irreverent "The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared", as certainly the trailer gives that expectation. Let me stop you right there, as "A Man Called Ove" turns out to be almost nothing like it, and in fact I will say that the movie's trailer is outright misleading. "A Man Called Ove" certainly has some funny moments here and there, but in fact deals a lot more with how someone deals with facing life without a dearly beloved significant other. The movie cleverly looks back at the budding romance between Ove and Sonja in a number of flashbacks, and it's not until the very last 15 min. that we get the full picture. (During one of those flashbacks, we hear Demis Roussos' "Forever and Ever" in the background, which I literally hadn't heard in decades. That guy was HUGE in Europe in the 70s.) The movie also looks at the importance of neighbors and the immediate community (and even integration of migrants, as the wife of the young family fled Iran and is now completely fluent in Swedish). The movie that came to mind as I was watching this is Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino" of a few years ago. Indeed, certain parallels are uncanny (grumpy older guy, love for cars (in "Ove" it's a Saab), dealing with personal loss, adjusting to new neighbors, etc. Rolf Lassgard is outstanding in the title role, and kudos also to Barar Pars as the young wife from Iran.
"A Man Called Ove" opened with little pre-release fanfare at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended very nicely, somewhat to my surprise. So much the better! If you are up for a bittersweet Swedish movie about an older gentleman's adjustment to a new world, I think you will like this quite a bit. "A Man Called Ove" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
I'd never heard or this book, but bought it based on the reviews I read on Amazon. Took the book on vacation with a friend. I was laughing and OhMyGod!-ing so much my friend asked to read it next. I was quite shocked as her genre is the creepy horror stuff that makes me want to hide under the covers. She LOVED it! I loved it. It's a beautiful story. The characters are unforgettable. Get this book, you will love it. Then get the movie, it's just as good.
Rolf Lassgard is Ove (pronounced "Oo've"), a pedantic senior who still mourns the death of his wife. He is depressed and plans to kill himself to join his wife in heaven. But life gets in the way. A young family moves in next door. The wife is from Iran and can't drive. She's also very pregnant with her third child and needs help, help that her own husband can't or won't give her. Despite his perpetual grumpiness, he always ends up helping his neighbors while also enforcing the residential rules: No driving on the paths. Keep the gates closed. That grumpy exterior slowly fades away as he learns about Persian food, spends time with the children, and gets to know his other neighbors better.
The story is told in intermittent flashbacks. The viewer learns why Ove is grumpy. Every time he tries to kill himself, he recalls his life: his mother's death, his father's death, his wife's death. No wonder he his grumpy! But just when he thinks he has nothing to live for, he shares a laugh with his pregnant neighbor and the last 40 minutes are heart-filled. Ove simply needs to feel needed and not exploited.
While grief is a big theme in this touching movie, other themes are exploring new cultures, dealing with generational gaps, fighting back bureaucracy. Don't take life for granted because we all have to exit it.