Rolf Lassgard is astonishingly good in this sweet and funny film about an old man giving up on life shortly before he gets some reasons to recharge his battery.
Ove (Lassgard) lives in a community where he acts as the enforcer of the rules, and he takes it seriously (Don’t you dare throw a cigarette butt on the ground when he is in eyeshot). Having lost his wife Sonja (Ida Engvoll), who we see in flashbacks, Ove has developed a cantankerous reputation that has most seeing him as an old coot.
A new couple moves in next door, a cat takes residence in his house, and the couple’s children become his friends, thus delaying his attempts to take his own life.
Director and screenwriter Hannes Holm does a great job letting us know, little by little through the flashbacks, the events that have led to Ove being the man he is. By the time the flashbacks have played out, it’s hard to blame Ove for being a little grumpy.
Lassgard is thoroughly enjoyable in the movie, managing to make the character somebody likeable, even when he’s screwing up.
Even though the movie takes place in one little community and basically focuses on the life of one man, it has an epic feel to it. Holm has made a special movie with this one.