Kyle Cubr reviews “A Man Called Ove” on Cine-File Chicago

subtext-eyeThe grumpy, old curmudgeon is a tried and true character anti-hero archetype that has seen it’s fair share of memorable performances over the years. From the despicable Mr. Potter in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE to the somewhat racist yet secretly caring Walt Kowalski in GRAN TORINO, this character type is malleable enough to fit many narrative needs from film to film. In Hannes Holm’s A MAN CALLED OVE, Ove (Rolf Lassgård) is a grumpy, old retiree living alone after his wife had passed some time ago. He fills his time with simple activities—trying to enforce his neighborhood’s rules and visiting his deceased’s gravesite—but is also contemplating suicide until a young interracial couple and their kids move in and Ove and the family form an unlikely friendship. Much of OVE deals with generational gaps and how first impressions can sometimes be wrong once further inspected. It is tender and poignant in the way that it handles interpersonal relationships and the past, specifically Ove’s. Led by a strong performance from Lassgård, A MAN CALLED OVE is funny, heartwarming, and a little tragic with the right amount of accessibility to be appreciated by audiences of all ages.

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