Movie review of “A Man Called Ove”: Rolf Lassgard won SIFF’s Golden Space Needle for best actor for this Swedish portrait of a suicidal curmudgeon. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.
Killing yourself isn’t easy. Ove, the Swedish curmudgeon, knows. He’s been there. His beloved wife has died, and he’s prepared to follow her.
There probably hasn’t been this determined a would-be suicide since Bud Cort’s teenage Harold tried to call attention to his mental distress in “Harold and Maude.”
And all those nooses hanging from the ceiling provide an opportunity for elaborate flashbacks, some of them funny, some of them quite touching — thanks to Rolf Lassgard’s resourceful performance. It won him the prize for best actor at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival. The movie is back for a regular run at the Guild 45th and SIFF Cinema Uptown.
Movie Review ★★★
‘A Man Called Ove,’ with Rolf Lassgard, Viktor Baagoe, Filip Berg. Written and directed by Hannes Holm, based on a novel by Fredrik Backman. 116 minutes. Rated PG-13 for thematic content, some disturbing images and language. In Swedish, with English subtitles. Guild 45th, SIFF Cinema Uptown.
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Lassgard actually shares the role with younger actors who play Ove as a child (Viktor Baagoe) and as a dashing young man (Filip Berg) who finds himself succumbing to a woman who is determined to land him at first sight.
“A Man Called Ove” has some tear-jerking moments, but the film is so carefully designed — with long, circular takes that seem to surround the main characters at crucial fateful points — that technique often triumphs over sentimentality.
Veteran writer-director Hannes Holm, adapting a popular novel by Fredrik Backman, turns it into a breathless movie.