(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

A MAN CALLED OTTO is a remake of the 2016 Swedish film A MAN CALLED OVE, itself based on the book of the same name by Fredrick Backman. This seems a change of pace for Tom Hanks; somehow this is just not the way the public pictures usually him. (Then again, neither THE ROAD TO PERDITION nor NEWS OF THE WORLD were "stereotypical" Tom Hanks roles. Nor, for that matter, was his other 2022 role of Colonel Tom Parker in ELVIS.) In A MAN CALLED OTTO, Hanks plays a flaming misanthrope. (He denies this, leading another character to say sarcastically, "No, every word you say is like a warm cuddle.")

This is a gentle story though entirely predictable in the spirit of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, LAST HOLIDAY, and IN AMERICA, among others.

Some random thoughts: Interestingly, while CASTAWAY seemed to champion FedEx, in this film UPS gets the nod. Otto as a younger man is played by Tom Hanks's son, Truman Hanks. (Colin Hanks, the better-known son of Tom, is twenty years older, and would have been too old for the role. So if they wanted family resemblance, Truman was a good choice.) And there did seem to be a bit of adding current topicality a bit clumsily.

Released theatrically 30 December 2022. Rating: +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

Film Credits: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7405458/reference

What others are saying: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/a_man_called_otto

					Mark R. Leeper
					Copyright 2023 Mark R. Leeper