Film No. 76 (2016) December 22nd. 6.45 PM LUNA Paradiso, Northbridge.
"It looks like a winter boot with eyes" (Grumpy Ove describes a pesky dog to it's owner simply because it annoys him).
I loved The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared. It's humour and poignancy sold me on Sweedish cinema and in particular their slant on morality tale telling. A Man Called Ove, steps grumpily into similar territory and does it nearly as well.
Ove (Rolf Lassgard) is a grumpy 59 year old with the demeanour of a grouchy 70 year old. From the beginning we know "rivers run deep" with Ove and the 2 hours we are about to spend with him will reveal all. Somehow we just know we are going to love him. So it's down to Director Hanns Holm's ability to convert the Fredrick Backman novel to the screen. From where I was sitting, he did a good job.
Knowing why Ove has such a dim view on life and the people who surround him is gradually unravelled. We see flashbacks including the touching relationship he had with his father and the events which led to him following in his dad's footsteps and ultimately meeting the love of his life, Sonja (Ida Engvoll) who's beauty, inside and out, gives the film a lift. Then there is the humour surrounding his love of Saab and disdain for other car makes, in particular his neighbour's devotion to Volvo.
Ove wins us over as we are manipulated in the nicest possible manner. Neighbour Parvaneh (Bahar Pars), an Iranian immigrant married to a Swede, gives Ove the reality check he needs when all looks lost. She and her children draw the very best qualities from Ove which is all part of the film's clever manipulation. I notice the author of the novel, Backman, was also involved in the writing of the screenplay. This will add legitimacy for those who have read the book. Ove is still growing on me, it's a better film than I first gave it credit for. Like an onion I'm still peeling back the layers. 9GUMS.