A MAN CALLED OVE (EN MAN SOM HETER OVE) (director/writer: Hannes Holm; screenwriter: from the novel by Fredrik Backman; cinematographer: Goran Hallberg; editor: Fredrik Morheden; music: Gaute Storaas; cast: Rolf Lassgard (Ove), Bahar Pars (Parvaneh, Filip Berg (Unga Ove), Ida Engvoll (Sonja), Tobias Almborg (Patrick), Klas Wiljergard (Jimmy), Chatarina Larsson (Anita), Borje Lundberg (Rune), Stefan Godicke (Oves pappa), Johan Widerberg (Vitskjortan), Anna-Lena Bergelin (Journalisten Lena), Nelly Jamarani (Sepideh), Zozan Akgun (Nasanin), Viktor Baagoe (Ove at 7), Simon Edenroth (Adrian); Runtime: 116; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Annica Bellander, Nicklas Wikst Nicastro; Music Box Films; 2015-Sweden/Norway-in Swedish and Farsi with English subtitles)

"The genial middle-brow arthouse story is too obvious and tries too hard to be pleasing."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The Swedish filmmaker Hannes Holm ("Behind Blue Skies"/"Every Other Week") is the director-writer of this Swedish comedy. He blends together humor and pathos in his sentimental character study of the 59-year-old Ove (Rolf Lassgard). He's a grumpy senior citizen critical of others who wishes to commit suicide six months after the death of his beloved intellectual wife (Ida Engvoll) to cancer and after unfairly fired from his factory job of 43 years because of age bias. The script is based on the popular novel by Fredrik Backman. The slow moving and ponderous dramedy is shameless in exploiting Ove's many comical suicide attempts from a ceiling hook as he recalls his life story. In flashbacks, Filip Berg and Viktor Baagoe appear as the younger Ove. With the most affecting scenes showing how much Ove loved his kindly train conductor father (Stefan Godicke).

Meanwhile in Ove's suburban community-of town houses, the Persian zestful pregnant Parvaneh (
Bahar Pars) and her two small daughters and her unhandy Swedish husband Patrick (Tobias Almborg) move next door. The foreign lady wins the nasty man over with kindness.

The genial middle-brow arthouse story is too obvious and tries too hard to be pleasing.

REVIEWED ON 1/2/2017       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"