Seems like only yesterday (because it was only yesterday) that we were writing our review of “Living”, a well-crafted performance by one of our finest veteran actors in a small and warm-hearted gem. And emotionally remade a film about a widow. One who begins to grow and change after experiencing some major life setbacks.

Now comes “A Man Called Otto,” a small and warm-hearted gem starring one of our finest veteran actors in a well-crafted and emotionally involving tale about a widowed curmudgeon, One who begins to grow and change after facing some major life setbacks.


The good news is, just as Bill Nighy sails through some acceptably evocative and melodramatic developments in “The Living,” Tom Hanks does the same with “Otto,” who wears his heart on his sleeve and Bar can be a bit soft and sticky. But it wins us over in the end, thanks in large part to Hanks delivering countless memorable performances over his remarkable career, and some breakout supporting work from a fine supporting cast.

With both films, we’re pretty sure where the story will take us almost from the outset, and yet the journey is filled with sarcastic humor, universal insight into the human condition, and plenty of moments when you have to rub your eyes and let it go. Have to shake

Directed by the versatile Marc Forster (“Finding Neverland,” “World War Z”) and inspired by the 2015 Swedish film “A Man Called Ove” (which was based on the bestselling novel by Fredrik Backman), “A Man Called Otto” features visuals. Begins with a series that establishes Hanks Otto as the guy in the office or on your block who’s always complaining that people aren’t following the rules, who turns your friendly hello into a rude or snide comment. Congratulations to everyone who thinks the world is a “fool” and he’s the only one left who doesn’t cut corners and play by the rulebook and mind his own business. In many cases, for example, when Otto gets into a dispute over a ridiculous corporate policy about pricing a few feet of rope at a big-box hardware chain store, Otto isn’t wrong–but you can take that aside. want to go and say: Otto, let it go. It’s not worth it, man.

Spoiler alert: Otto never lets things go, whether it’s barking at a woman for letting her dog pee, scolding a neighbor for her too-tight exercise outfit, to a delivery truck driver for unauthorized parking. Yelling at – or telling a stray cat to leave it alone, and we all know a stray cat isn’t going to leave it alone. Recently fired from his managerial engineering position and now retired, Otto has nothing but time on his hands, and he spends most of that time living his gated neighborhood in an unnamed Rust Belt town ( “Otto” was filmed in Pittsburgh), growling about bicycles not parked in racks, trash not properly sorted into recycling bins, etc., Etcetera.

Not that Otto plans on being tall for this world; We learn that he has bought that piece of rope because he wants to hang himself. Since the recent passing of his beloved wife, Otto has lost the will to move on.

Director Forster and screenwriter David Magee weave in several supporting players (perhaps one too many, as the subplots sometimes take us away from the main themes) and fill in Otto’s story via flashbacks, including Hanks’ son Truman. Young people play the roles of Otto and Rachel. Keller superb as Otto’s wife Sonya, who clearly brings out the best in Otto. In the present day, Otto cannot survive the frequent visits of his new neighbors, Marisol and Tommy (Mariana Treviño and Manuel García-Rulfo), who have two adorable young daughters and are expecting a third child. Otto can’t even find the right moment to kill himself, what with these annoying people who are constantly stopping by to help him or to leave homemade Mexican dishes. Occasionally we get some hints that Otto has some unhinged views on race and culture, but this is quickly dismissed when we learn that Otto’s true intolerance is reserved for those who won’t help others. , who condemn those who are not like them. There is a deep nobility in him.

Mariana Treviño is the needy new neighbor of the fabulously nice Otto.

One of the joys in “Otto” is seeing how Otto is growled by most people who refuse to take in his neighbors, old and new, from his colleagues on the last day of work to the Generation Z employees at that big-box store. Huh. Do a fight with Chara and Otto. They react to his sharp edges by either shrugging it off or refusing to believe that the real Otto is there. (This, of course, drives Otto insane.)

Mexican stage and screen actress Mariana Treviño is spectacularly good as Marisol, who at first glance may seem like a disorganized mess but is actually a brilliant, vibrant, loving, constantly in motion life force. Even though Marisol is the one asking Otto to lend her a ladder or teach her to drive or watch girls so she and Tommy can have a date night, she doesn’t need Otto’s help, not really. . She is saving him.

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