Review / ‘A Man Called Ove’ (MA) ****

FROM Danish filmmaker Hannes Holm’s adaptation of Fredrik Backman’s novel comes a warm-hearted story offering love, grief, consolation, generosity of spirit and plenty of reason for filmgoers to laugh.

Living alone since the death from cancer of his beloved and delectably lovely teacher wife Sonja (Ida Envoll) six months earlier, Ove (Rolf Lassgärd) regularly visits her grave and promises to join her soon.

He lives in a gated community where, since a stroke disabled management committee chairman Rune, he makes and administers local rules such as parking of bicycles. He has few friends.

Things change with the arrival of new neighbours. The husband Patrick lives in the shadow of a redoubtable Iraq-born wife Parvaneh (Bahar Pars) whose friendliness and warmth aren’t fazed by Ove’s grumpiness. A delightful partnership grows between them despite Ove’s initial lack of interest.

Much of the film’s comedy comes from his pursuit of a personal agenda. While Ove is at heart a simple soul, his commitment to his promise is unshakeable.

There’s much else about this film to delight filmgoers and claim their compassion. Sweden’s nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars, its underlying sentimentality doesn’t cloy our enthusiasm for its strong thread of humane goodness.

At Palace Electric


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