Swedes Respond to ‘A Man Called Ove’

A MAN CALLED OVE_Photo by Anders Nicander

The film adaptation of popular Swedish novel A Man Called Ove had its domestic premiere over Christmas in Sweden. While reaching the top of the box office with 614,000 admission, the film has received mix reviews of critics.

A Man Called Ove follows 59 year old Ove, a grumpy man living in a community that he lost presidency to only several years earlier. He doesn’t care about this loss of job, and continues to keep a watchful eye over the community. When pregnant Parvaneh and her family move into a terrace house opposite him and accidentally ruin his mailbox, an unexpected relationship grows between the two.

Sydsvenskan said that the films story maintains its power and charm, but questions the films ability to adapt content from the novel. The critic gave the film 3/5. SVD also praises the films ‘feelgood’ attitude and the directors adaptation of the novel, but gave the film 3/6. The film was also released in Norway, where it received 4/6 across the board, with Dagavisen saying that the first hour is excellent, but as the films dissolves into its message and meaning, it rushes through the book and therefore loses its strengths. Unsurprisingly, all critics praise Rolf Lassgard for his leading role, and also highlight the excellence of supporting actress Bahar Pars.

Despite these mixed reviews, A Man Called Ove has received multiple nominations at the Guldbagge Awards, including Best Film and Best Actor for Lassgard and Pars. While no international release is currently set, hopefully the strong public interest in both film and novel will take it to major international film festivals.

Watch the trailer below and let us know if you’d like to see the film come to your country!

A Man Called Ove was directed by Hannes Holm and produced by Film i Vast & Nordisk Film.

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.