Whenever Tom Hanks stars in a movie, you can be assured it’s worth the price of admission. Currently in movie theatres, A Man Called Otto is no exception. There are no superheroes, enemy aliens, interplanetary threats of annihilation, monsters, or weapons-toting bad guys. It’s a wonderful character study of a man our age who is facing everyday life challenges.
Hanks plays a curmudgeon called Otto Anderson. He has just retired having sadly became a widower a short time earlier. Otto is an unspectacular man who has led an unspectacular life. He married a woman he loved, bought a row house in an affordable neighbourhood, then spent his life being a good citizen and following the rules.
It’s the rules that give Otto’s life purpose after retirement and the death of his wife. He chastises the UPS driver for temporarily parking on his No-Parking-Without-a-Permit street and bemoans new residential development in his neighbourhood. Just when his efforts seem too much to bear, an immigrant Mexican family moves in across the road to fuel his fire, or should I say his ire.
This movie is very much along the same lines as Clint Eastwood’s 2008 film Gran Torino, which I loved. Old, working-class guy doesn’t handle change very well but enlightenment comes from where it is least expected. A Man Called Otto is at times laugh-out-loud funny, sad, heartbreaking, and heart-warming. It is based on the earlier novel A Man Called Ove by Hannes Holm, which I have not yet read. Hanks’s real-life son Truman plays a younger Otto in the movie.
There are so few movies these days that appeal to baby boomers. Buy a ticket with your senior’s discount, hold your sweetie’s hand if you have one, or go with girlfriends, park a bucket of hot, buttery popcorn between your knees, treat yourself to an icy cold fountain Diet Coke, sit back, and enjoy a wonderful movie. You need an afternoon out and boomers do not drive after dark so take in a matinee. You’ll be glad you did.
And, incidently, if you have not already seen Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino, check it out on your streaming service. Be forewarned that this movie does have some violence but it is essential to the plot. Both movies are a must-see. What good boomer movies can you recommend to our readers?