A Man Called Ove (2015)

Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)

If you remember the last time a Swedish bestseller became a movie, you’ll recall that The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo had a little trouble translating the fantabulousness of the book to the silver screen. (To say nothing of the English-language version starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, which was just plain snoozy.)

The same problem besets A Man Called Ove. A book full of heart and chuckles and, most of all, nuance is flattened into a shadow of itself by the demands of cinematic storytelling. First off, the viewer finds out immediately that Ove’s wife is dead, a fact that is withheld through the first several chapters of the book. Other little twists–the cat-shaped hole in the snowbank, the story of Sonja’s father, the budding relationship between Jimmy and Mirsad–disappear as well. And one of my favorite scenes from the book–Ove versus the Apple Store–was left on the cutting room floor. I suppose if you hadn’t read the book, you might enjoy the movie. But if you’re already an Ove fan, you’re in for a letdown.

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