A Man Called Otto
review by Bobby Blakey
Tom Hanks is not only one of the best actors around, but known for being a nice guy and typically taking on those kinds of roles. His latest film A Man Called Otto based on the New York Times bestseller “A Man Called Ove”, from author Fredrik Backman has been taking on a grumpy unhappy character. The film co-stars Mariana Treviño, Rachel Keller and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and directed by Marc Foster. Does Hanks still have that lovable side here or is he so busy with things to do that you can’t see past the rules to deliver a great flick?
A Man Called Otto follows the story of Otto Anderson, a grump who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife. Otto is ready to end it all, but his plans are interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, and he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol. She challenges him to see life differently, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world around. A heartwarming and funny story about love, loss, and life, A Man Called Otto shows that family can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places.
Just getting to see Hanks be grumpy and insult people was enough of a reason for me to want to see this movie, but there was so much more here than I thought. Of course if you have read the source material then you already know where it is heading, but for those that haven’t it is a lot deeper than you might have thought. The story is filled with laughs and heart, but also loss and life struggles that will no doubt hit home with a lot of people.
It is no surprise that Hanks is outstanding here once again with one of my favorite performances from him in some time and I typically love them all. He brings a surface performance that is fun to watch while also showcasing a really unlikable person should you meet them in real life. It is baffling to why the other people around him would still tolerate him let alone be his friend, but as the story unfolds it makes so much sense. Even with the hateful behavior you can
see glimpses of hope and happiness in his eyes at times that tells you there is more there.
The rest of the cast are great as well with Mariana Treviño knocking out of the park and having great chemistry with Hanks. Their scenes together are fun and heartfelt really bringing the heart of the story to the forefront. They are just so entertaining together and make the perfect team for this story.
I had no doubt that the film was going to entertain, but there was so much more to it that it was elevated to something great. Prepare to life and cry when you join Otto for his rounds at the complex in life with A Man Called Otto in theaters now.