A Man Called Ove

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A Man Called Ove
A Man Called Ove.png
Film poster
Directed by Hannes Holm
Produced by
Screenplay by Hannes Holm
Based on A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman
Music by Gaute Storaas
Cinematography Göran Hallberg
Edited by Fredrik Morheden
Distributed by Nordisk Film
Release date
  • 25 December 2015 (2015-12-25) (Sweden)
Running time
116 minutes[1]
Country Sweden
Language Swedish
Box office $29.4 million[2]

A Man Called Ove (Swedish: En man som heter Ove, pronounced [ˈuːvɛ]) 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]


59-year-old widower Ove Lindahl lives in a townhouse neighborhood. Ove used to be the chairman of the neighborhood association, until he was replaced by Rune. Rune is now bound to a wheelchair, unable to speak, after suffering a stroke. Nevertheless, Ove is still resentful of Rune and his wife, Anita. Ove is depressed after losing his wife, Sonja, a schoolteacher, who died of cancer six months previously. After working at the same company for 43 years, he is pushed toward retirement. His attempts to hang himself are repeatedly interrupted by Iranian immigrant Parvaneh, her Swedish husband 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 young boy, leaving him alone with his quiet father, a mechanic at the train company. His father was only passionate about engines, and shares his knowledge with Ove. When he was a teen, his father is hit by a train and killed. In the present, Ove's life is spared as the rope he used for a noose snaps and he falls to the floor.

Next, Ove attempts suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning, by sitting in his running car in a garage. He once 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. Sparks from the fire cause his own home to burn, but The Whiteshirts tell the firemen not to put the fire out. With nowhere to go, Ove sleeps in a train at work; he wakes up 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.

Back in the present, Ove's attempt to kill himself is interrupted by Parvaneh banging on the garage, wanting a ride. Ove then goes to the train station and plans to jump in front of a train. However, a man on the platform faints and falls onto the tracks. Nobody moves to help him, so Ove jumps down and drags him off the tracks. Parvaneh asks Ove to teach her how to drive, and he eventually agrees. He also takes in a stray cat upon Parvaneh's insistence. He tells Parvaneh about the early days in their neighborhood, when he and Rune 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 despite being neighbors, until Rune organized a "coup" and replaced Ove as chairman. Ove takes care of Parvaneh and Patrick's two daughters, Sepideh and Nasanin, while she practices driving. He also begins to bond with his new cat. He repairs a bike he confiscated from a neighborhood teen, Adrian, and delivers it to the teen at his job at a kebab shop, where he meets Mirsad, another young man. Ove first mocks Mirsad over his eye makeup, and asks him if he is "one of those gays," but has no problem with that when Mirsad admits that he is.

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 gruffly invites Mirsad in. Later, Ove opens up to Parvaneh about Sonja. When Sonja was pregnant, she wanted to go on a vacation before the baby arrived. They traveled on a tour bus to Spain, and when they were returning home over a windy road, the bus crashed. Sonja lost the baby and was confined to a wheelchair. When the local authorities ignored Ove's pleas to build a wheelchair ramp, he went to the school in the night and built it himself.

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 suddenly going into labor and delivering a boy. Ove gives gifts to Parvaneh's daughters, who refer to him as grandpa. Several months later, Parvaneh and Patrick find Ove has died. The neighborhood packs the church for his funeral.



Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 91% based on 106 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The site'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]

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 cinema-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
Best Make-up/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". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 26 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "A Man Called Ove". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "En man som heter Ove" (in Swedish). Swedish Film Database. 25 December 2015. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "A Man Called Ove (2015)". Swedish Film Database. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Nominations for the 2015 Guldbagge Awards" (Press release). Swedish Film Institute. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Norman, Isabel; Nykänen, Joni (18 January 2016). "Glädjevrålet på Guldbaggegalan". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "Oscars: Nine Films Advance in Foreign-Language Race". Variety. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Samuelson, Kate (24 January 2017). "Here Are the 2017 Oscar Nominations". Time. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 
  9. ^ ""En man som heter Ove" kan få Oscar för make up och hår". Expressen (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  10. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tom-hanks-star-produce-a-man-called-ove-movie-1041804
  11. ^ "A Man Called Ove (En man som heter Ove)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 10 February 2018. 
  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". Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via washingtonpost.com. 
  14. ^ Phillips, Michael. "'A Man Called Ove' review: Swedish heartwarmer on love, loss and connectivity". Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  15. ^ Henderson, Odie. "A Man Called Ove Movie Review (2016) - Roger Ebert". Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  16. ^ "His life as a dogged old man - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "Tears and laughter in 'A Man Called Ove'". Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  18. ^ Nyheter, SVT. ""Ove" tredje mest sedda svenska biofilmen". Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  19. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (24 January 2017). "Oscars: 'La La Land' Ties Record With 14 Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 
  20. ^ "Oscar Nominations: Complete List". Variety. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 
  21. ^ "European Film Awards Winners". Variety. 10 December 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  22. ^ "Houston Film Critics Nominations for 2016 Films". MovieAwardsPlus.com. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  23. ^ "Houston Film Critics Society Nominations – 'The Nice Guys' and Rebecca Hall Get a Deserved Boost". AwardsCircuit.com. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  24. ^ Kilday, Gregg (29 November 2016). "Satellite Awards Nominees Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 November 2016. 
  25. ^ "2016 StLFCA Annual Award Nominations". St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  26. ^ http://deadline.com/2017/09/tom-hanks-a-man-called-ove-remake-swedish-film-1202174361/

External links[edit]