A Man Called Ove earned an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film last year (it also earned an Oscar nomination for Makeup and Hair Styling – for those who care about such things – as well as over a dozen awards at various film festivals around the globe).
So when this Swedish language film showed up on Netflix (yes, there are English subtitles) I had to watch it to find out what all the fuss was about.
Sure enough, it starts out what those accustomed to the kinetic pace of most “Hollywood” films (I put Hollywood in quotation marks because many so-called Hollywood films are actually shot in Louisiana or Vancouver or anywhere there are comfortable filming conditions and tax incentives) may characterize as “slow”.
Patient viewers (or viewers used to the pacing of many foreign language films) will be rewarded with a richly detailed character study highlighted by Rolf Lassgard`s masterful performance in the title role and impeccable performances by a supple supporting cast. Normally, I don’t care for flashbacks in a film but I gotta say it works here to flesh out Ove`s life and make me aware of how he got to be the grump I saw in the first part of the film.
Working from a novel by Fredrik Bachman, Writer/director Hannes Holm has fashioned a film which manages to be warm-hearted, romantic, darkly humorous, heartbreaking and inspiring by turns.