This film is an adaptation of Frederick Backman’s best-selling novel of the same name. The reviews stated it was about a crotchety old man who changes for the better with help from his neighbors. This plot seemed like a re-hash of “Gran Torino” with Clint Eastwood, so I didn’t have much interest in seeing it. My close friend and movie buff Warren, however, really liked it, so I put it on the top of my list.
Ove (pronounced “Oh Vey,” not “Oy Vey!” and played by Rolf Lassgard)’s beloved wife Sonja (Ida Engvoll) has died, but he is not handling it well. He is suicidal and longs to join Sonja in the afterlife. Fate, however, keeps interfering with his suicide attempts! He is bitter, angry, and driving everyone around him away. He has turned into the “Soup Nazi” of the neighborhood, hassling the neighbors for violating various meaningless homeowners’ association regulations.
A new family moves in next door (a couple with two daughters) and the Iranian immigrant wife, Parvaneh (Bahar Pars), tries to become friends with Ove, a nearly-impossible task. Throughout the course of the film, via numerous interesting and emotionally-compelling flashbacks, we learn about Ove’s marriage and other aspects of his life, primarily the multiple and tragic losses he has suffered.
The film is about 15 minutes too long and overdoes Ove’s obnoxious behavior, but it is still a heartwarming film with occasional very funny dark humor. Lassgard’s performance is terrific, and he deserves consideration for an Academy Award. On the whole, I think the Writer/Director (Hannes Holm) did an excellent job. This is a very good movie and worth seeing now on the BS.