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A Man Called Otto by Fredrik Backman

I know that many of you are a fan of this novel by Fredrik Backman. Now made into an American film with Tom Hanks as Otto. I also loved the book and the Swedish film, where the man is called Ove.


Yesterday evening the author visited Malmö together with the American film version. Before the film was shown, Backman was interviewed on stage and told us a little bit of the background to the character. It seems he 'collects' real life characters and situations, which he then puts in a mental storage. These characters tend to jump out when he finds a suitable place for them in a story. Backman has a lot of humour, which I think we all see in his writings. He also has a very good eye for how we live our lives.



I really loved this version with Tom Hanks. He seems perfect for the role. I think not an eye was dry in the salon during the film. It was well transferred into an American setting, and worked well there as well. Which might mean that Backman has written a universal story. I can definitely recognise myself in some of the things Otto does. Even if I don't point it out, I think about how people behave, and scan't they get their act together.

I have also read My Grandmother Asks Me To Tell You She's Sorry. It is also a tragic, comical story and so well describes people and events in Sweden. However, I think they can be recognised everywhere in the world.


I really loved this version with Tom Hanks. He seems perfect for the role. I think not an eye was dry in the salon during the film. It was well transferred into an American setting, and worked well there as well. Which might mean that Backman has written a universal story. I can definitely recognise myself in some of the things Otto does. Even if I don't point it out, I think about how people behave, and thinking, why can't they get their act together.


Have you read the book and seen the film? What do you think?

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4 Comments


Marianne Maurer
Marianne Maurer
Jan 22, 2023

I have read the book in German. It was hilarious, I really loved it. I also love Tom Hanks, he is a great actor and I haven't seen a film with him, yet, that I didn't love. But I'm always doubtful whether I like a film after I read a book and try to avoid them. Plus, I'd have to wait anyway because they would only show it in German over here, and I hate dubbed films.

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thecontentreader
thecontentreader
Jan 26, 2023
Replying to

I think this is one film you will not be disappointed in, after having read the book. I agree about the dubbing though. Can't stand it. I am happy to hear actors in their own language, any language. I thought though that in Germany there are certain cinemas that show films in their original language?

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I'm glad to hear that -- I haven't seen it and was curious. There appears to be some Oscar buzz for Hanks in this role, although it's a tight field so getting in the top five could be a challenge. Nevertheless, he's a find actor and it seems a great part for him.

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thecontentreader
thecontentreader
Jan 26, 2023
Replying to

I would say it is a perfect part for him. He was very good. A nice, funny movie which is perfect for the dire times we live in. The message is, if we help each other the world will be a better place.

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