A Man Called Otto Review

When you think of Tom Hanks, you think of Josh, the boy who had his wish granted in Big. You think of Woody, the toy cowboy, in Toy Story but you really don’t think of him as a grumpy old man. Tom Hanks plays Otto Anderson in his latest film. Otto is a widower who feels like his life has no meaning ever since the passing of his wife. He has a set routine and feels he needs to point out the infractions that the people around him are doing.

Seeing Hanks in this role takes some getting used to from the beginning of the film. His grumpiness is reminescent to seeing Harrison Ford during a late night interview. He grunts, and groans, and says a mean thing here and there. Yes, it could be easy to dismiss Hanks being a grumpy man but as the movie continues you start to feel for his character and his ways.

During this time of year a lot of people can possibly relate to Otto. The holiday season makes people reflect on their year and sadly it takes its toll on people. Whereas some people take matters into their own hands, there are those that have a support system to help them when they are low. Otto, while not looking for it, finds people who care about him and help him through his tough times.

Otto (Tom Hanks) is loathe to react to the picture Marisol’s (Mariana Treviño) kids drew in Columbia Pictures A MAN CALLED OTTO.

Otto not only shows us how having a support system helps a person but also shows us how that person changes due to this help. Otto is a tale that has been told countless of times so you already know that the attitude will eventually disappear. The thing about Otto is that through a series of flashbacks we see the life that he had. Within these flashbacks we see how he met his wife, his relationships with his neighbors, and the battles he faced that led him to where he is at the start of the movie.

The shining light in this movie is the family that moves in across from Otto. Marisol and Tommy are just the right amount of clueless and charming that slowly work their way into Otto’s heart. Marisol is able to put up with Otto’s attitude and is the type of person that he needs in his life. She is that voice that Otto needs to hear to know that life is worth living. The relationship that builds between Otto and this family does not feel forced but organic as the time goes by.

I do want to reiterate that there are moments in this film that are dark due to Otto’s attempts at suicide. This movie does shed some light on why people feel this is their only solution to their problems. This movie also shows us why it is important to talk to those around you. A Man Called Otto takes you through a roller coaster ride of emotions and reminds us that we never know what someone is going through in their life.

Tom Hanks stars as Otto in Columbia Pictures A MAN CALLED OTTO. photo by: Niko Tavernise

Final Thoughts: A Man Called Otto follows the familar trope of the grumpy old man that finds his heart and stops being grumpy. While it is strange seeing Tom Hanks play the grumpy character it is refreshing from the usual good guy roles he always plays. The attempted suicide scenes might be trigger warnings for some but they are necessary to move the story of Otto along.

Kid-Friendly: Children had seen animated cartoons/movies with grumpy old curmudgeons so seeing A Man Called Otto will not be anything new. There are some dark moments with Otto’s multiple attempts at suicide. Although this movie does go to some dark places the theme about family and living your life will be a good one for kids.

Violence: There is no violence in A Man Called Otto. Otto does lose his temper with a driver in one scene and pulls him out of the car to yell at him. That is about as violent as it gets.

A Man Called Otto tells the story of Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks), a grump who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife. Otto is ready to end it all, but his plans are interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, and he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol. She challenges him to see life differently, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world around. A heartwarming and funny story about love, loss, and life, A Man Called Otto shows that family can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places.

1 thought on “A Man Called Otto Review”

  1. The film could not have been crammed with any more fringe, minority or diverse cast of characters. Even the dog appeared queer. It was so predictable that is was completely bland. Tom his self was not convincing he tried so hard to be miserable but it did not take. It was not a film noir, more film rainbow.

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