A Man Called Otto – Film Review

As I have mentioned previously, I am trying to go to the cinema more often than usual, especially as so many award nominated movies emerge. Following my review of Empire Of Light, I decided to pop along to my local movie theatre and check out ‘A Man Called Otto’ today.

What Drew Me To This Character-Orientated Movie?

Tom Hanks was promoting ‘A Man Called Otto’ on the Graham Norton Show the other Friday when it first caught my imagination. Apparently an adaptation of a Swedish novel – ‘A Man Called Ove’ by Fredrik Backman – this story was about an older man who was rather miserable and full of spite. Some new neighbours moved into his street and tried to soften his character slightly. The premise was interesting and I knew Tom would portray the lead role brilliantly.

Otto protected a little street like this.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97% audience score

A Sweet Narrative

Otto had lost his wife recently and was pushed out of his job, taking a severance payout and entering retirement reluctantly. He lived in a street where the parking was protected and he made sure that only those with permits dared to park in his street.

The neighbours knew that he did his daily ‘rounds’ and tried to engage with him despite his sour mood. The reason for this grumpy attitude was exposed later in the story. Needless to say he had a fairly harrowing backstory.

A family moved in and started to offer him food parcels and company. Marisol (played by Mariana Travino) was superb as a chatty, pregnant neighbour who wouldn’t take no for an answer and was determined to bring a smile to his tired face.

Recurring Theme

While Otto was constantly trying to find ways to kill himself and join his wife beyond the grave, amusing circumstances disturbed his plans and kept him busy. Marisol worked hard at bringing some fun into his world and giving him something to care about.

A set of challenges faced by other neighbours made his life more difficult still. Otto’s narrative was wonderfully outlined by a good script and careful direction. Tom’s wife, Rita Wilson, persuaded him to make the movie version of the book and she also came on board as producer. Similarly his real-life son – Truman Hanks – who played a younger version of Otto, did a brilliant job. He was the spitting image of his famous father.

Things I liked about it

– Incredible acting by the lead actors

– A flowing storyline with carefully placed nuggets of information that enhanced the narrative.

– Clever direction with emotional flashbacks.

– It had moments of real humour.

In A Nutshell

I laughed and cried whilst watching this wonderful story unwind. Hanks was amazing in this role and Mariana deserves an Oscar for supporting actress too. In my opinion, it was really well written and the different elements fitted together superbly.

I would give this movie a five star review and totally recommend going to the cinema to see it. Now I will have to go and read the original book.

If you found this review helpful, please comment below and consider following my blog for future book and TV reviews as well as environmental articles. A recent TV review I wrote, which might grab your attention, was focused on House of the Dragon.

If you have Kindle Unlimited, perhaps you would like to check out my original short stories. I would appreciate some reads to celebrate the fourth birthday of my book Short Dates. Thank you so much for checking out my bookish blog,

22 thoughts on “A Man Called Otto – Film Review

  1. Tom Hanks is a genius and an inspiration for many aspiring actors. When I know that a movie is inspired by a book, I definitely like to read the book first. And I try my best not to be too critical of the movie. However, if a movie has Tom Hanks, I will go watch it without even looking at the movie trailer. 
    I am also thinking of writing books and movie reviews with a dance theme. 

  2. Excellent review. I saw Tom Hanks on Graham Norton and was thrilled that he was making this film. The book ‘A Man Called Ove’ – is brilliant as well.

  3. I’m looking forward to catching this in theaters. Thanks for posting, Jamie!

  4. I’m really enjoying going to the cinema more lately. I LOVED A Man Called Otto. I love everything Tom Hanks does and Marisol was the sweetest character. It was so true to the book as well, which was nice x

  5. I’ve seen the trailers for it for a while and I was immediately drawn to watching it. I am so looking forward to it when I finally do get to see it; great review, it sounds exactly like I had hoped!

  6. I’ve not been to the cinema for ages, we tend to watch Netflix and Disney+ at home. This sounds like a brilliant movie though, and I’d always watch anything with Tom Hanks in it, he’s amazing!

  7. I saw the trailer for this but actually did not know it was a book. I was interested I’m seeing this movie. It looked though like a sad movie.

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