325 Rideau St., Ottawa, ON
It was brought to my attention that the film version of December's book choice will be playing at the Bytowne next month. Feel free to come and join us to watch the movie- whether or not you've signed up for the book discussion.
In Swedish with English subtitles.
A touching comic crowdpleaser that may call for a tissue or two by the end, A Man Called Ove is Swedish director Hannes Holm’s irresistible adaptation of Fredrik Backman’s bestselling novel of the same name.
It’s a heartwarming tale about a stubborn, short-tempered man with steadfast beliefs, strict routines and the feeling that everyone around him is an idiot – and no reticence about telling them so. After new neighbours accidentally run over his mailbox, the cantankerous old git’s solitary, regimented world is shaken in ways he would never have imagined.
Upon first encounter, Ove (played by Rolf Lassgård in the present, Filip Berg as a young man and Viktor Baagøe as a boy) comes off as one of those annoying, nosy souls found everywhere in the world, the ones who assiduously obey all written instructions and tell you to do so, too. He’s the terror of his suburban neighborhood, where he used to be the chairman of the residents’ association until he was voted out, something that he considers a betrayal and still can’t forgive. He continues to patrol the alleys and the walkways, blithely disposing of wrongly parked bikes and chucking shoes at stray cats.
Ove is privately mourning the recent death of his adored wife, Sonja (Ida Engvoll), and intends to join her in the cemetery as soon as possible. One of the film’s running jokes is that he’s simply crap at offing himself. But each suicide attempt sparks a long flashback, revealing more and more of his backstory and making him a more sympathetic character. Ultimately, it’s a friendship with the new neighbours – practical, pregnant Parvaneh (Bahar Pars), her young daughters (Nelly Jamarani, Zozan Akgun), and her hopelessly unhandy husband Patrik (Tobias Almborg), who never has the correct tools – that gives Ove a new lease on life. Holm makes poignantly clear that being needed is an essential human desire, and life is so much sweeter when shared with others.
Movie begins at 1:15. We will meet in the lobby between 12:45 and 1:00.
Watch the trailer here: