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Warmth and humour abound in Tom Hanks movie 'A Man Called Otto'

Film Review: My Name Is Otto (15) – seen at The Light Cinema, Wisbech

Starring: Tom Hanks, Mariana Treviño, Mack Bayda, Truman Hanks and Cameron Britton.

Running time: 2hrs 16m Director: Mark Forster.

Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto
Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto

One of the world’s favourite actors puts in yet another masterclass performance in this comic drama.

Based on the Swedish book and film, A Man Called Ove, this release has received mixed reviews from critics – but this particular reviewer loved it.

We meet Tom Hanks’ character, the cantankerous Otto Anderson, as he shops in a hardware store for rope with which to hang himself, having given up on life after the death of his wife.

But when an extremely friendly young family moves in over the road, Otto is drawn into their lives against his will and everything changes for the better.

Although he continues to make attempts to end his life, there is much warmth and humour in this film and those particular scenes are played out with sadness, albeit with some dark humour.

Hanks is superb as Otto, content only when he is chiding others, and yet somehow loveable, while Mariana Treviño is wonderful as the loving force of nature that is Marisol, the matriarch of his new neighbours.

During Otto’s darkest hours we see flashbacks to his earlier life and are taken back through his memory to a time when young Otto (Truman Hanks) meets, falls in love and marries Sonya (Rachel Keller).

The links between past and present are beautifully done, as is the burgeoning relationship between Otto, Marisol, her husband Tommy (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Tommy) and their adorable little girls.

The film gets perhaps overly-twee towards its conclusion as Otto sees the error of his ways and throws a warm arm around everyone, but there is also a sobering conclusion that the viewer perhaps doesn’t see coming.

By Jeremy Ransome

Rating: 8/10

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