Michael Bergeron
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“A Man Called Ove”

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In what has to be one of the most proficient foreign films to play in Houston this year, A Man Called Ove astounds with the depths of human emotions it mines. This Swedish import thematically recalls last year’s The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. Both films cover the life story of an old man reliving the events of a long and fruitful life.

Leon casino, Ove (Rolf Lassgård) has the disposition of a human grumpy cat. Just fired from the only occupation he’s ever known, after over forty-five years on the job, Ove decides to hang himself. This act of self-aggression is interrupted by the sight of new neighbors, right outside the picture window in front of Ove’s living room hanging spot, moving in across the street. It seems the new neighbors have backed into Ove’s mailbox.

As we learn more about Ove, mostly framed between unsuccessful suicide attempts, we glimpse into his human soul. Ove is a simple man with a simple plan – to work and provide for his beautiful wife. Ove has certain skills that involve engineering and construction.

Ove’s wife is a teacher and after a near fatal accident she’s reduced to a wheelchair. The school cancels her contract because they have no barrier free access to the hallways of the learning institution. In a heartbreaking scene like you’ve never witnessed, Ove builds a ramp for her to wheel into the school, overnight and in the pouring rain.

A Man Called Ove offers reservoirs of hope even for the most misanthropic of humans.

A Man Called Ove is currently in exclusive rotation at the Landmark River Oaks Theatre.