You can’t really go wrong with a Tom Hanks movie. The man is a great actor and always gives his best. A Man Called Otto is right up there with his best.

A Man Called Otto stars Hanks, Mariana Trevino, Rachel Keller, Peter Lawson Jones, Juanita Jennings, Max Pavel, and Kailey Hyman. It is directed by Marc Forster, known for World War Z, Monster’s Ball, and Quantum of Solace. It’s written by Fredrik Backman, Hannes Holm, and David Magee. The story is:

“Otto is a grump who’s given up on life following the loss of his wife and wants to end it all. When a young family moves in nearby, he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol, leading to a friendship that will turn his world around.”

If you saw the trailer, you’d think it was a light-hearted about a grumpy old man making friends, and it is. However, it’s a lot darker than I thought it would be and a lot more heartfelt.

We start off with Otto, played by Hanks, who wants to buy 5 feet of rope. He’s being charged for 6 feet as the computer measures it in yards. He asks to see the manager, who’s out to lunch, so the deputy manager comes over.

She’s about 20 and this just annoys him even more. We then see his daily routine, of having to deal with idiots in the world and they all just piss him off. He reminded me of me, and probably most of our LMO Outposters, too.

He sees new neighbors move in and gets annoyed at them for not displaying their parking permits correctly. This is all light-hearted and fun as you see Otto get annoyed and how people love him, just because he’s his usual grumpy self.

It turns out, the rope was because wants to hang himself. This then takes a very dark turn and a much more serious tone.

You learn that Otto suffered a great loss and he just doesn’t see the point in carrying on. There are beautiful flashbacks that will, honestly, bring a lump to your throat. The movie is a very dark comedy, with moments where you really laugh, but then you are wiping away a tear from your eye at the sadness of it all.

All of this is in the first 10 minutes. As the story goes on, you meet the people in Otto’s life and how they love him, even though he’s a grump. Again, I’m only touching the very surface of the story here. There is so much more to it.


Hanks is brilliant in this. His character is different from anything I’ve seen in him for a while. He plays the grump really well, a miserable sod, but a loveable one.

The rest of the supporting cast is all great too. I loved the little kids who are the new neighbors. They love Otto, well, until he attacks a clown, but they still think that’s funny.


There is a little woke in the movie, a shoehorned-in transgender minor character, but this wasn’t too bad. It was part of the story and wasn’t overly preachy. Honestly, I really loved this movie. It was a really odd surprise, as it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I couldn’t help but like it.

It’s got a perfect soundtrack too, with some really great songs in it.

Oddly enough, the movie reminded me a little of The Whale. They are two very different movies, but they are both about loss and connection, just done in very different styles.

I would watch A Man Called Otto again. It was sweet, funny, serious, and a movie worth my time. It’s streaming at the moment.

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