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.
A few years back I watched a foreign film called Let the Right One In. This film centers on the friendship between a vampire and a boy and is based on the book written by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Directed by Thomas Alfredson and starring Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leanderson, and Per Ragnar, the story revolves around Oskar a twelve year old boy who lives in the dreary Stockholm suburb, Blackeberg, with his divorced mother. Oskar is constantly bullied at school by a group of nasty boys looking for any excuse to beat him up. Strangely none of the teachers ever see Oscar being hurt. It’s not much better at home, where Oskar is often alone until late at night, because of his mother’s work schedule. Oskar is the poster child for latch key kids. He is isolated and friendless…the perfect victim for a predator…Time to meet the new neighbors. Find out more after the jump.
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