A Man Called Ove
Writer-director Hannes Holm’s cuddly-gruff A Man Called Ove hails from Sweden, but it has less in common with pitch-black Nordic comedies like Force Majeure and Rams than with contrived Hollywood corn, or at least the sort of reheated, quasi-inspirational, off-Hollywood corn that tends to win awards at the Sundance Film Festival. Rolf Lassgård thunders across the screen in the title role, playing a grumpy and depressed widower whose suicide attempts are repeatedly delayed and disrupted by his nosy new neighbors, as well as his own compulsion to strictly enforce the rules of his housing complex. Lassgård does magnificent work, overplaying neither as the muttering martinet nor the as the reformed, twinkly-eyed teddy bear, and the film has a big heart, as well as an excellent score by Gaute Storaas. But for the most part, A Man Called Ove is predictable but palatable syrup, ably going through motions we’ve seen before. D.B.