They don’t come around all that often, but the movies love a charismatically gruff old man. From the goofy classic Grumpy Old Men with Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau to Clint Eastwood’s racist curmudgeon in Gran Turino, there’s a strange appeal to bitter old cranks. At least, when they discover they have a heart after all. Hannes Holm’s A Man Called Ove, from the novel by Fredrik Backman, follows in the genre’s creaky, recalcitrant footsteps. With a wonderful performance as the titular Ove from Rolf Lassgård, the film hits all the right irascible notes. Nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Film category, and another for Makeup and Hairstyling, A Man Called Ove has been an unlikely success.
For fans of food-focused movies, documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi deserves a spot at the top of the list. The film explores Sukijabashi Jiro, a tiny sushi restaurant in the basement of an office building and it’s nearly 90 year old chef Jiro, known as perhaps the best sushi chef in the world. Despite the unassuming appearance of the restaurant, it is strictly reservations-only, with an extremely long waiting list for a table. Each meal lasts approximately 30 minutes and prices start around $300 depending on the types of fish available that particular day.