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A MAN CALLED OTTO: 2022 (Seen on Netflix) Tom Hanks is so inherently likeable that even when his character is a curmudgeon you can’t help but like him. That may be the problem with the movie. It is based on a novel by Swedish author Frederic Backman titled "A Man Called Ove" and there was a Swedish film in 2015 by the same name. Gary and I saw the original movie late in 2016 and gave it an A. (Go to the Archives for the review.) It may be that we didn’t know the Swedish actor, Rolf Lassgård, that we agree with Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus that his “affectingly flinty performance in the title role keep it from succumbing to excess sentimentality.” The 2022 movie is a mostly faithful adaptation of the novel, and it made us cry at the end, but I don’t know if that’s because Otto died, or Tom Hanks died. Hanks is a good enough actor to make the redemption of the grumpy old man believable and affecting. Perhaps the reason that RT gave the Swedish version of the movie a critical 91% and gave the 2022 version only a 69% is that movie critics don’t like sentimentality today as much as they did in 2015. (Audiences, however, rated the 2022 movie higher than critics did.) We like sentimentality when we don’t feel manipulated by it. Maybe it was because this was my second time seeing Ove/Otto that I felt a tad manipulated. Mariana Trevino, who played the woman who warms up Otto was especially good, as were all the incidental characters. We liked the 2022 version, but not as much as our memory of the Swedish version. GRADE B+

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