‘A Man Called Otto’ Is The Feel Good Movie Of The Year

A Man Called Otto is sneaking in right at the end of the year to give us the feel-good movie of the year that we all need. Everyone goes through hard times in their lives but it is the people around us, and the way we handle them, that makes life truly worth living. That is the main message of Tom Hanks’ new film. Viewers will be calling loved ones and hugging them tight after wiping away the tears that this film evokes.

A Man Called Otto is based off of a Swedish film, A Man Called Ove, that is adapted from a book. It follows a grumpy older man named Otto (Tom Hanks) whose wife has passed on and all he wants to do is leave Earth and go see her. After his retirement from his job, he gets his affairs in order – even going so far as to cancel his power – and plans his death.

He continuously tries to end his life, but is often interrupted and foiled by his new neighbors, Tommy (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and Marisol (Mariana Treviño). This is where the humor comes in as they are a bright light that delivers much-needed comedic relief during a movie that is unafraid to dive into such a heavy subject.

An Incredible Cast

It should come as no surprise that Tom Hanks is absolutely phenomenal in the role. The way he delivers Otto's lines with a straight face is perfect. He makes it easy to love this man who clearly hates so much in his life. He is certainly rude and grumpy, but will also make audiences laugh as he doesn’t fully understand that he is this way.

Throughout the film we also see flashbacks of Otto’s life, learning how he met his wife and the hardships that he has gone through. His life is relatable, and it also helps audiences to understand why he is the way he is. Hank’s real life son, Truman Hanks in his acting debut, plays this younger version of himself, and it is clear that he takes after his father when it comes to the acting genes.

However, even with two Hanks in the film, it is Mariana Treviño that is the star. She holds her own opposite Hanks as Marisol, even stealing quite a few scenes from him. Marisol is a sweetheart who is also unafraid to tell it like it is. She barely knows Otto at the start of the movie but she doesn't mind putting him in his place when he needs it.

It is impossible not to smile whenever she is on the screen. She is the much-needed light through the darkest moments of the movie. While she is incredible throughout the entire movie, there is a monologue toward the end that proves her performance is not just a fluke – she is extremely talented.

Treviño and Hanks have great on-screen chemistry and if a real friendship was not formed, well, they sure fooled us. Marisol provides a lot of the comedic relief, but she brings the majority of the heart of the film as well.

Overall Thoughts

A Man Called Otto is one of the most genuine films in years. It is wholesome, charming, and absolutely brilliant. It tells a story that we all need to hear and take to heart, and is sure to have viewers everywhere appreciating their lives. Hanks delivers a powerful performance but it is the lovely Mariana Treviño that steals the show.

The message behind this movie is beautiful, and something that will stick with viewers for a long time. Most people will leave A Man Called Otto thinking about their own lives, and the people in them. That really is what makes life worth living, after all.

Rating: 9/10 SPECS

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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.


Tessa Smith owns MamasGeeky.com and is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic and a huge geek. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics associations including the Critics Choice Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association. She grew up watching movies, playing video games, and reading comic books -- and still loves all of those things. She proudly lets her geek flag fly and spreads the word that there is nothing wrong with being a geek.