A Man Called Otto

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A Man Called Otto
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMarc Forster
Screenplay byDavid Magee
Based on
Produced by
CinematographyMatthias Königswieser
Edited byMatt Chessé
Music byThomas Newman
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • December 29, 2022 (2022-12-29)
Running time
126 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$50 million
Box office$113.2 million[1]

A Man Called Otto is a 2022 American comedy-drama film directed by Marc Forster from a screenplay by David Magee. It is a remake of the 2015 Swedish film A Man Called Ove, which was based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Fredrik Backman. The film stars Tom Hanks in the title role, with Mariana Treviño, Rachel Keller, and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo in supporting roles. The plot follows a bitter old man who reluctantly gets involved in the lives of his neighbors.

A Man Called Otto began a limited theatrical release on December 29, 2022, before a wide release in the United States on January 13, 2023, by Sony Pictures Releasing. The film received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $113 million worldwide against a $50 million production budget.


Otto Anderson is a 63-year-old widower, living in a rowhouse in suburban Pittsburgh. Six months after losing his wife Sonya, a schoolteacher, Otto has become a cynical, fastidious curmudgeon. Pushed into retirement from his job at a steel plant, he cancels his utilities and plans to kill himself to join his late wife.

Preparing to hang himself, Otto is interrupted by the arrival of new neighbors: pregnant Marisol, her husband Tommy, and their daughters Abby and Luna, who try to befriend him. When he attempts suicide, the noose collapses from the ceiling, so he visits Sonya's grave, and has flashbacks to their past: as a young man, he was rejected from the army due to his hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and met Sonya on a train, where she lent him a 1964 silver quarter he has kept ever since.

Otto helps his neighbor Anita with her radiators, despite holding a grudge against her husband Reuben, a non-responsive stroke survivor. Otto attempts suicide again via carbon monoxide poisoning in his garage, thinking back on his and Sonya's courtship, but he is interrupted by Marisol when Tommy breaks his leg after borrowing Otto's ladder. Otto reluctantly drives Marisol and the children to the hospital, where he assaults a clown for taking his special quarter during a magic trick.

While waiting on a train platform for another suicide attempt, Otto remembers his graduation from engineering school, when he asked Sonya to marry him. He saves an older man who fell onto the tracks and lets himself be pulled to safety at the last second. When his allergic neighbor Jimmy rescues a stray cat, Otto reluctantly adopts it. He confronts a teenager named Malcolm for delivering unwanted advertising circulars, and the boy recognizes Otto as his former teacher's husband, recounting that Sonya supported him as a transgender student.

Annoyed by Marisol's inability to drive, Otto gives her lessons. They visit Sonya's favorite bakery, where Otto explains that Anita and Sonya were best friends, but he and Reuben grew apart over rivalries and trivialities such as loyalties to different car manufacturers, culminating in Reuben's "coup" replacing Otto as chair of the neighborhood association. Otto babysits Abby and Luna while Marisol and Tommy spend a night out together, and befriends Malcolm, helping to fix his bicycle.

Otto dodges social media journalist Sharie Kenzie after a video of the incident at the train station goes viral. Unwilling to come to terms with Sonya's death, Otto lashes out at Marisol and an agent for Dye & Merika, a real estate company trying to buy up the neighborhood. He prepares to commit suicide by shotgun, remembering the bus crash on a romantic trip to Niagara Falls that caused a pregnant Sonya to lose her baby and become a paraplegic. Malcolm, who was kicked out by his father, knocks on the door, and Otto lets him stay the night.

Otto learns that Dye and Merika are conspiring with the estranged son of Reuben and Anita. They are leveraging Anita's secret Parkinson's diagnosis to buy their house and put Reuben in their nursing home. He resolves to fight them and asks for Marisol's help, finally explaining Sonya's stillbirth and disability, his frustration at the inaccessibility of the Dye & Merika housing development, and how he was voted out as association chair after a heated confrontation with the company. When Dye & Merika staff arrive to take Reuben, the neighbors band together to stop them, with Kenzie exposing their illegal access to Anita and Otto's medical records.

Otto collapses and he is taken to the hospital, identifying Marisol as his next of kin. She is amused to learn "his heart is too big", then goes into labor and gives birth to a son, Marco. Otto gives Marisol and Tommy the cradle he built when Sonya was pregnant, gives his car to Malcolm, and grows closer to his neighbors.

Three years later, following a snowfall, Tommy notices Otto has not shoveled his walkway as he normally would. He and Marisol enter his house and find that Otto has died of heart failure. They also find a letter to Marisol bequeathing his home, savings, new truck, and cat. Following his wishes for a funeral, the neighbors gather to remember Otto.


In addition, Christiana Montoya and Alessandra Perez appear as Luna and Abbie, respectively. John Higgins appears as a store clerk.[2]


In September 2017, it was announced that Tom Hanks would star in an English-language adaptation of the 2015 Swedish film, A Man Called Ove, and would also produce alongside Playtone partner Gary Goetzman, wife Rita Wilson, and Fredrik Wikström Nicastro of SF Studios.[3] Marc Forster was confirmed as the film's director in January 2022, with David Magee writing the screenplay.[4] On February 10, 2022, it was announced that Sony Pictures pre-bought the rights to the film for around US$60 million at the European Film Market.[5]


Filming began in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in February 2022[6][7] and wrapped up in three months later in May.[8][9]


Thomas Newman composed the film's score. The soundtrack album was released by Decca Records on December 30, 2022.[10][11] The album also features the single "Til You're Home" by Rita Wilson and Sebastián Yatra, which was released on December 2, 2022,[10] and was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.[12]


The film began limited theatrical release in New York City and Los Angeles on December 29, 2022, before a wide release in the United States on January 13, 2023, by Sony Pictures Releasing.[1][13] It was originally set for a wide release on December 25, 2022,[14][15] then moved up to December 14, 2022, before moving to its current date.[16]

Home media[edit]

The film was released through video on demand on February 28, 2023. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 14, 2023.[17][18] The film was released on Netflix in the United States on May 6, 2023.[19] Disney signed a "pay two window" deal with Sony in April 2021 which also included A Man Called Otto.[20]


Box office[edit]

A Man Called Otto grossed $64.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $48.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $113.1 million,[1] against a budget of $50 million.[6]

A Man Called Otto grossed $60,000 at four Los Angeles and New York theaters on its opening three-day weekend.[21] It expanded to 637 theaters the following weekend, making $4.2 million and finishing in fourth.[22] In its third weekend the film made $12.7 million after expanding to 3,802 theaters, surpassing its $8 million projections and remaining in fourth.[23] It then made $8.8 million in its fourth weekend, finishing fifth.[24]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 69% of 208 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The website's consensus reads: "Check all cynicism at the door and allow A Man Called Otto to tug at your heartstrings with its tried-and-true tune — it just might sing."[25] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 51 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[26] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[23]


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  2. ^ Massoto, Erick (May 29, 2023). "'SNL' Fave John Higgins Delivers Deadpan Humor in 'The Country Club' Trailer". Collider. Retrieved November 8, 2023.
  3. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (September 21, 2017). "Tom Hanks To Star In 'A Man Called Ove' Remake". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 29, 2019. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  4. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (January 18, 2022). "Marc Forster To Direct Tom Hanks In 'A Man Called Ove' With SF Studios, Rita Wilson & Playtone Producing David Magee Script". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 18, 2022. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
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  6. ^ a b Wiseman, Andreas (February 8, 2022). "Buyers Circling Tom Hanks Comedy A Man Called Otto On Eve Of Virtual EFM". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  7. ^ Axelrod, Joshua (March 9, 2022). "Western Pa.-shot film Cha Cha Real Smooth set for June 17 release". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on March 16, 2022. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  8. ^ Cuneo, Kevin (February 20, 2022). "Crew for Tom Hanks movie in Pittsburgh hiring scores of extras". Erie Times-News. Archived from the original on February 21, 2022. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (May 11, 2022). "Sony Pictures Lands U.S. Rights To Miramax's Here; Robin Wright Joins Tom Hanks, Robert Zemeckis, Eric Roth In Forrest Gump Reteam – Cannes Market". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 12, 2022. Retrieved May 12, 2022. The acquisition furthers the studio's relationship with Hanks, whose A Man Called Otto just wrapped production.
  10. ^ a b Porter, Sierra (December 2, 2022). "Rita Wilson Enlists Sebastian Yatra for 'A Man Called Otto' Song 'Til You're Home'". Billboard. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  11. ^ "'A Man Called Otto' Soundtrack Album Details". Film Music Reporter. December 29, 2022. Archived from the original on January 25, 2023. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  12. ^ Burlingame, Jon (December 21, 2022). "Oscar Music Shortlists: Weeknd, Selena Gomez, 'RRR' Songs Make the Cut; 'Avatar,' 'Nope,' 'Don't Worry Darling' Scores Advance". Variety. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  13. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 17, 2022). "Tom Hanks Movie 'A Man Called Otto' Shifts To Christmas". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 18, 2022. Retrieved October 18, 2022.
  14. ^ Shafer, Ellise (February 18, 2022). "Sony Dates Tom Hanks Vehicle A Man Called Otto for Christmas Alongside Whitney Houston Biopic". Variety. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  15. ^ Pedersen, Erik (February 18, 2022). "Sony Moves Oh Hell No Off Schedule, Confirms A Man Called Otto For Christmas, Sets Umma Date & More". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 5, 2022. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  16. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 19, 2022). "Sony Moves Madame Web To Fall 2023, Dates Marvel Universe Title For Summer 2024". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 19, 2022. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  17. ^ Hunt, Bill (February 17, 2023). "M3GAN is official for Blu-ray & DVD, plus Scream's The Exorcist III 4K, A Man Called Otto & a look at Zavvi's UK Superman 5-Film Ultra HD Steelbook". The Digital Bits. Archived from the original on February 21, 2023. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  18. ^ "A Man Called Otto DVD Release Date". DVDs Release Dates. Archived from the original on February 26, 2023. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  19. ^ Moore, Kasey (April 23, 2023). "'A Man Called Otto' Coming to Netflix US in May 2023". What's on Netflix. Archived from the original on April 30, 2023. Retrieved April 30, 2023.
  20. ^ Couch, Aaron (April 21, 2021). "Sony Films Will Move to Disney After Netflix Window Expires". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 13, 2023.
  21. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (January 1, 2023). "Hanks Banks $75K In 'A Man Called Otto' Exclusive Run – Specialty Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 1, 2023. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
  22. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 8, 2023). "'M3GAN' Slays With $30M+ Opening; 'Avatar: The Way Of Water' Hits Half Billion Faster Than 'Top Gun 2', 'Rogue One' – Sunday AM Box Office Update". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 8, 2023. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  23. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 13, 2023). "'Avatar 2' Rules With $35M 4-day, 'M3GAN' Moves $20M+, 'Man Called Otto' A Bright Spot For Adult Pics – MLK Weekend Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 14, 2023. Retrieved January 14, 2023.
  24. ^ "Domestic 2023 Weekend 3". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on January 23, 2023. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  25. ^ "A Man Called Otto". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 12, 2024. Edit this at Wikidata
  26. ^ "A Man Called Otto". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved June 12, 2023.

External links[edit]