Saturday, January 28, 2023     Volume: 23, Issue: 48
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A MAN CALLED OTTO
A QUIET PLACE PART II
AMSTERDAM
ANOTHER ROUND
BARBARIAN
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021)
BINGEABLE: 1923 (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY (2022)
BINGEABLE: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (2022)
BINGEABLE: ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL (2022)
BINGEABLE: ANDOR (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-present)
BINGEABLE: CASTLEVANIA (2017-2021)
BINGEABLE: CHEER (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: ECHO 3 (2022)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: FLEISHMAN IS IN TROUBLE (2022)
BINGEABLE: GOSSIP GIRL (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: HACKS (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: INSIDE MAN (2022)
BINGEABLE: JOE PICKETT (2021)
BINGEABLE: KUNG FU (2021)
BINGEABLE: LAST LIGHT (2022)
BINGEABLE: LIFE & BETH (2022)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (SEASON 2) (2022)
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BINGEABLE: WEDNESDAY (2022)
BINGEABLE: WELCOME TO WREXHAM (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: WILLOW (2022)
BINGEABLE: YELLOWJACKETS (2021-present)
BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER
BLAST FROM THE PAST: A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COWBOY BEBOP (1998)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE SHOOTING (1966)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
ENOLA HOLMES 2
GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY
GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
NEW FLICKS: ANTLERS
NEW FLICKS: BABYLON
NEW FLICKS: BEST SELLERS
NEW FLICKS: BULLET TRAIN
NEW FLICKS: CAUSEWAY
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
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NEW FLICKS: DISENCHANTED
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: FRESH
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THE MENU
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
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TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
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TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-present)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: ZOLA (2020)
WHITE NOISE

‘A Man Called Otto’ is overly sentimental but saved by its performances

A MAN CALLED OTTO

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF 2DUX², PLAYTONE, AND SF PRODUCTIONS

A MAN CALLED OTTO


Where is it playing?: Regal Edwards RPX Santa Maria, Movies Lompoc, Regal Edwards of Arroyo Grande, Fair Oaks of Arroyo Grande

What's it rated?: PG-13

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Full price (Anna Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Stranger Than Fiction, World War Z) directs this film based on Swedish author Fredrik Backman’s book, A Man Called Ove, and Hannes Holm’s subsequent 2016 film. Otto (Tom Hanks) is a grumpy widower who’s the bane of his neighbors’ existence. He doesn’t feel like life’s worth living alone. Then a young immigrant family and its matriarch Marisol (Mariana Treviño) move nearby, changing his life forever. (126 min.)

Glen: I was reluctant to see this film. I watched the 2016 Swedish version, which was good, and I didn’t feel like I needed to see Hollywood’s attempt. Well, I’m glad I did. A Man Called Otto makes a few missteps, has some clunky moments, wallows too much in sentimentality, but it’s also very moving. And as usual, Hanks is dependably terrific as perpetually exacerbated Otto, who thinks everyone around him is an idiot. This film also boasts two really amazing performances by Treviño as Marisol and Rachel Keller as Otto’s wife, Sonya, in the flashbacks to their first encounter, subsequent romance, and early lives together. Both Treviño and Keller are positively luminous and loveable. Sonya clearly brought out the best in Otto, and without her, his curmudgeonly tendencies have run unchecked. But Marisol—like Sonya—holds Otto accountable, forcing him to confront his behavior. It’s a bumpy ride (and a weepy one), but worth taking.

Anna: Oh man, I was not prepared to be such a blubbering mess with this film. Hanks has a hold on me, that’s for sure. He pushes my emotional buttons with every performance, and here even more than when Wilson floated away in Castaway. Otto is a grump for sure, but through flashbacks we get a little glimpse into why he is so curmudgeonly. One thing is evident—while Otto may seem to hate the world and everyone in it, he loved his wife with the sort of devotion and tenderness that seem almost unreal. The neighborhood clearly is trying to love Otto, whether it’s Jimmy (Cameron Britton), the power-walking positivity dude, or Anita (Juanita Jennings), who is taking care of her invalid husband, Rueben (Peter Larson Jones). They’re demonstrating kindness, but Otto gives them nothing in return. We soon learn that maybe this man wasn’t always such a cynic, and when Marisol and her family needle their way into his life, he softens. I can’t stress just how sweet this film was—it’s meant to hit your heart and that’s what it does. Is it cinematic genius? No. Is it an absolutely lovely watch? Yep.

Glen: One of the story’s rather sweet side plots is about Malcolm (Mack Bayda), a trans neighborhood kid who Otto takes under his wing by first helping him with his bicycle and later helping him through some family issues. Otto seems prickly, but underneath he’s a decent human being. Then there’s the stray cat, which at first Otto shuns. This cat, whose name is apparently Smeagol, is a heck of a feline actor. It’s also worth noting that Hanks’ son, Truman Hanks, plays the younger version of Otto opposite Keller’s Sonya. If you need a good cry, get thee to the theater.

Anna: It was super smart to have Hanks’ son take on the role of younger Otto. He does a great job in the role, and looking like your older counterpart definitely helps suspend disbelief. It’s Otto before he became a cranky old man, but we also get clued into the various reasons Otto is the way he is. My favorite part is definitely his budding friendship with Marisol and her young family, who are so endearing even an old grump can’t resist getting to know them. It’s so sweet. This film is a win for softies like me!

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










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