Periodically I like to bore myself and others with my ill-informed opinions on matters of law. Today, I am not that bored and so….some opinions without merit…on a film.
“A Man Called Ove” is Sweden’s offering for the 2017 Oscars. Ingmar Bergman, wherever he is resting, need not worry: “Cries and Whispers,” “The Virgin Spring,” and “Through a Glass Darkly,” this ain’t.
While thoroughly entertaining, “Ove” contains and sadly, proudly displays, all that is wrong with American cinema, formally and in terms of storytelling. “Ove” is littered with flashbacks, voiceovers,
slow motion and treacly music. The story contains people who cry and people who die, there is a fluffy cat, there is a miserable old curmudgeon who has….a secret, and yes, by the end, we all learn a little something about ourselves, and isn’t that important?
Like I said, “Through a Glass Darkly” this ain’t.
And yet, this is very much a Scandinavian film: amid the jokes and smiles, there are no less than four suicide attempts, one of which is a harrowing scene in which our man Ove can’t decide if he should put the shotgun in his mouth, under his chin, or against his forehead.
If, however, you never read a book, play or saw a film about an old curmudgeon who, we learn, has earned his right to be miserable, but who learns, by the drop of the curtain, that no man is an island and we all need each other (really, go see “About a Boy”: same film but no suicide attempts), then “A Man Called Ove” has earned its Oscar nomination.