A Man Called Ove

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A Man Called Ove
A Man Called Ove.png
Film poster
Directed byHannes Holm
Produced by
Written byHannes Holm
Based onA Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman
Music byGaute Storaas
CinematographyGöran Hallberg [sv]
Edited byFredrik Morheden [sv]
Distributed byNordisk Film
Release date
  • 25 December 2015 (2015-12-25)
Running time
116 minutes[1]
Box office$29.4 million[2]

A Man Called Ove (Swedish: En man som heter Ove, pronounced [ɛn ˈmanː sɔm ˈhěːtɛr ˈǔːvɛ]) is a Swedish comedy-drama film which was released to cinemas in Sweden 25 December 2015.[3] The film was written and directed by Hannes Holm, and is based on author Fredrik Backman's 2012 book of the same name. In the leading role as Ove is Rolf Lassgård.[4] The film was nominated for six awards, winning two, at the 51st Guldbagge Awards in 2016.[5][6] It was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film and Best Makeup and Hairstyling categories at the 89th Academy Awards.[7][8][9][10]


60-year-old widower Ove Lindahl lives in a townhouse neighborhood, where he used to be the chairman of the neighborhood association, until he was replaced by Rune, his former friend. Rune is now paralysed after suffering a stroke, and being cared for by his wife, Anita. Ove is depressed after losing his wife, Sonja, a schoolteacher, to cancer six months previously. Having worked at the same company for 43 years, he is pushed into retiring. His attempts to hang himself are repeatedly interrupted by Iranian immigrant Parvaneh, her Swedish husband Patrick and their two children, who are moving into the house across the street.

During another suicide attempt, Ove flashes back to his childhood. His mother died when he was a child, leaving him alone with his quiet father, a mechanic at the train company. His father shared his knowledge of engines with Ove, who had a part-time job at the train yard. Having done particularly well at his exams, he reports his results to his father, who is so anxious to spread the news that he fails to take care and is hit by a train and killed.

During another attempt to kill himself, this time by carbon monoxide poisoning, Ove is sitting in his running car in a garage, and again recollects the past, when he began working at the train company. Two men from the local council, whom Ove dubs "The Whiteshirts", arrive at young Ove's home and declare it should be demolished. Ove instead fixes the house. His neighbors' home catches fire one night, and Ove saves two people, but sparks from the fire cause his own home to burn, and The Whiteshirts prevent the fire from being tackled because they plan to demolish it in any case. With nowhere to go, Ove sleeps in a train at work; he wakes to find a young woman, Sonja, sitting across from him. He is smitten with her and returns to the same early train each morning. After three weeks, he finds her again, and they begin dating. She encourages him to return to school, and he earns a degree in engineering.

Ove's attempt to kill himself is interrupted by Parvaneh banging on the garage door, wanting a lift to hospital because her husband has had an accident. Ove takes care of Parvaneh and Patrick's two daughters, Sepideh and Nasanin, while they are there, and is made to sit outside after he causes a scene. Later, Ove goes to the train station, planning to jump in front of a train. However, when a man on the platform faints and falls onto the tracks, Ove jumps down and rescues him. Parvaneh asks Ove to teach her how to drive, and he eventually agrees. He also takes in a stray cat which he had previously found an annoyance. He tells Parvaneh about his past friendship with Rune, and how they worked together to establish rules and order, with Ove chairman of the neighborhood association board and Rune the deputy chair. They grew apart over the years, largely because of Rune's preference for Volvo cars and Ove's for Saab, until Rune organized a "coup" and replaced Ove as chairman. He also begins to bond with his new cat. He repairs a bike he confiscated from a neighborhood teen, Adrian, and returns it to Adrian who works at a kebab shop with another youth, called Mirsad. Ove notices Mirsad's eye make-up and asks him if he is "one of those gays", but does not shun Mirsad.

Despite his improved relations with his neighbors, Ove has an altercation with two "Whiteshirts" who are attempting to force Rune into a nursing home. Ove then tries to commit suicide using a shotgun, but is interrupted by Adrian and Mirsad ringing his doorbell. Adrian says Mirsad had been kicked out of his house after coming out to his family and needs a place to stay. Ove reluctantly invites Mirsad in. Later, Ove tells Parvaneh how Sonja, when pregnant, wanted to go on vacation before the baby arrived. She and Ove traveled on a tour bus to Spain, but on the journey home, the bus crashed. Sonja lost the baby and was confined to a wheelchair, which made her unable to take up a job as a teacher. When the local authorities ignored Ove's pleas to build a wheelchair ramp, he went to the school in the night and installed one.

Ove collapses and is taken to the hospital, where he lists Parvaneh as his next of kin. Parvaneh is told that her "father" is suffering from an enlarged heart but will survive. Laughing, she tells Ove he is terrible at dying, before herself going into labor and delivering a boy. Ove gives gifts to Parvaneh's daughters, who refer to him as grandpa. Several months later, Parvaneh wakes to a winter storm and looks out of the window to see that Ove's drive hasn't been cleared and Ove is not up at his usual time. Parvaneh and Patrick run to Ove's house to find that he has died in his sleep. Ove, having found peace, has left strict instructions for his funeral; the service is packed with neighbors. The film ends with Ove waking on the train where he first met Sonja, to find her there waiting for him.



Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 91% based on 117 reviews, with an average rating of 7.22/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "A Man Called Ove's winsome sincerity — and Rolf Lassgård's affectingly flinty performance in the title role — keep it from succumbing to excess sentimentality."[11] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 70 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[12]

The Washington Post,[13] Chicago Tribune[14] and Rogerebert.com[15] gave positive reviews. Reviewers have noted that while elements and formulas are familiar from films such as St. Vincent and Gran Torino, A Man Called Ove is well made and capable of bringing real tears to the audience's eyes.[13][16][17]

As of 2016, the film is the third most watched Swedish theatrical film in Sweden of all time.[18]


Rolf Lassgård was awarded the Best Actor award at the 51st Guldbagge Awards.
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result
Academy Awards[19][20] 26 February 2017 Best Foreign Language Film Sweden Nominated
Best Makeup and Hairstyling Eva von Bahr and Love Larson Nominated
Cabourg Film Festival 11 June 2016 Essilor Audience Award A Man Called Ove Won
European Film Awards[21] 10 December 2016 European Comedy A Man Called Ove Won
Guldbagge Awards[5][6] 18 January 2016 Best Film Annica Bellander and Fredrik Wikström Nicastro (Producers) Nominated
Best Actor Rolf Lassgård Won
Best Supporting Actress Bahar Pars Nominated
Best Cinematography Göran Hallberg Nominated
Makeup and Hair Eva von Bahr and Love Larson Won
Best Visual Effects Torbjörn Olsson Nominated
Cinema Audience Award A Man Called Ove Won
Houston Film Critics Society[22][23] 6 January 2017 Best Foreign Language Film A Man Called Ove Nominated
Satellite Awards[24] 19 February 2017 Best Foreign Language Film A Man Called Ove Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association[25] 18 December 2016 Best Foreign Language Film A Man Called Ove Nominated


A US remake will be produced by Tom Hanks, who also will star in the film.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A MAN CALLED OVE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  2. ^ "A Man Called Ove". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  3. ^ "En man som heter Ove". Swedish Film Database (in Northern Sami). Swedish Film Institute. 25 December 2015. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  4. ^ "A Man Called Ove (2015)". Swedish Film Database. Swedish Film Institute. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b Göransson, Jan (4 January 2016). "Nominations for the 2015 Guldbagge Awards" (Press release). Swedish Film Institute. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  6. ^ a b Norman, Isabel; Nykänen, Joni (18 January 2016). "Glädjevrålet på Guldbaggegalan" [The Joy of the Guldbagge Awards]. Aftonbladet (in Northern Sami). Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  7. ^ McNary, Dave (15 December 2016). "Oscars: Nine Films Advance in Foreign-Language Race". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  8. ^ Samuelson, Kate (24 January 2017). "Here Are the 2017 Oscar Nominations". Time. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  9. ^ Tillgren, Jenny (22 December 2016). ""En man som heter Ove" kan få Oscar för make up och hår" ["A Man Called Ove" Nominated for Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar]. Expressen (in Northern Sami). AB Kvällstidningen Expressen. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  10. ^ Kit, Borys (21 September 2017). "Tom Hanks to Star in, Produce 'A Man Called Ove' Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  11. ^ "A Man Called Ove (En man som heter Ove)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  12. ^ "A Man Called Ove Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  13. ^ a b Merry, Stephanie (20 October 2016). "'A Man Called Ove': The curmudgeon next door — with a Swedish twist". The Washington Post. The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  14. ^ Phillips, Michael (28 September 2016). "'A Man Called Ove' review: Swedish heartwarmer on love, loss and connectivity". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  15. ^ Henderson, Odie (30 September 2016). "A Man Called Ove". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  16. ^ Keough, Peter (12 October 2016). "His life as a dogged old man". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  17. ^ Goodykoontz, Bill (13 October 2016). "Tears and laughter in 'A Man Called Ove'". The Arizona Republic. Gannett Company. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  18. ^ Weidrud, Hanna (14 April 2016). ""Ove" tredje mest sedda svenska biofilmen". SVT Nyheter. Sveriges Television. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  19. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (24 January 2017). "Oscars: 'La La Land' Ties Record With 14 Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 24 January 2017.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Variety Staff (24 January 2017). "Oscar Nominations: Complete List". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  21. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (10 December 2016). "Maren Ade's 'Toni Erdmann' Sweeps 29th European Film Awards". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  22. ^ Movie Awards Plus (13 December 2016). "Houston Film Critics Nominations for 2016 Films". Movie Awards Plus. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  23. ^ Davis, Clayton (13 December 2016). "Houston Film Critics Society Nominations – 'The Nice Guys' and Rebecca Hall Get a Deserved Boost". Awards Circuit. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  24. ^ Kilday, Gregg (29 November 2016). "Satellite Awards Nominees Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  25. ^ "2016 StLFCA Annual Award Nominations". St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association. 18 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  26. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (21 September 2017). "Tom Hanks To Star In 'A Man Called Ove' Remake". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 27 August 2018.

External links[edit]