A Man Called Otto (2023)

Director: Marc Forster
Writer/s: David Magee, Fredrik Backman, Hannes Holm
Starring: Tom Hanks, Mariana Treviño, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Truman Hanks, and more.

The Intro:
This movie easily became a highly anticipated movie for Abby and I the moment we caught wind that it was literally being filmed a street or two away from where we live! Seriously, look at the poster, that is literally a grouping of homes practically behind our house. Obviously, it made it easier to be excited about it when we found out it was Tom Hanks starring in the leading role as well as the American film adaptation of a famous novel “A Man Called Ove.” So with enough ingredients to make a good movie, was it actually good???

IMDb Summary:
“Otto is a grump who’s given up on life following the loss of his wife and wants to end it all. When a young family moves in nearby, he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol, leading to a friendship that will turn his world around.”

The Oberrating:
“A Man Called Otto” really played with every heartstring, huh? You can typically figure out what you are going to get when you sit down for one of these dramatic comedies. However, if they can do them well and one likes these kind of movies, the “A Man Called Otto” is just about everyone’s cup of tea. It’s hilarious in plenty of moments, it’s moving in others, and it’s a gut punch in all the rest.

I have to admit, I did not know anything about the novel or what the movie was truly going to be about. The trailers also did not prepare me for how dark and grim the themes would be. Actually, on that note, reading the IMDb summary was the first time I saw anything about the suggestive themes aside from watching the movie itself. For some I can understand that these themes would become a major turn-off to the movie and have the capability to trigger emotional and physical responses, but for the sake of the movie, it drives home the hopelessness of the character of Otto now that he sees no purpose in his life, post the death of his wife. Despite the dark themes, the light always breaks through and this movie finds a way to show that life is worth living and family is not always blood.

As expected, the performances within “A Man Called Otto” were excellent. Leading the way is America’s sweetheart, Tom Hanks. Tom returned to Pittsburgh to shoot the movie and he was welcome with open arms, popping up in the news with funny stories and cameo appearances all over town. Tom was wonderful as Otto Anderson. The grouch, turned neighborhood dad, was a role played perfectly by Hanks. Honestly, seeing grouchy “Karen” Tom Hanks was funnier and a more welcome experience than I would’ve imagined! It made for quite the comedic bit of material.
Surrounding him is a wonderful ensemble of supporting actors like Mack Bayda, Cameron Britton, Juanita Jennings, Peter Lawson Jones, and others. Everyone brought wonderful chemistry with one another as well as complimentary comedic moments to pair with Hanks.
Additional attention is needed towards Tom Hanks’ son, Truman Hanks. With his acting debut, Truman played young Otto in the flashback scenes for… obvious… reasons. Truman does a commendable job with the role and hey, maybe we’ll see more of him in the future.

The Wrap-Up:
The feel-good message movies come out time and time again and for many, they do not work. However for just as many and maybe more, it does. “A Man Called Otto” worked for my family and even myself. While it tackles deep themes and drives home a heartfelt message by film’s end, it is also layered with delightful comedic moments and topped off with great performances. “A Man Called Otto” is in theaters now and should be viewed as soon as you can if these types of movies are your thing.

Rating: 4/5


Edited by Abby McNatt

No copyright infringement is intended.

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