Unlike Gran Torino, A Man Called Ove brings a comedic grouch to the big screen rather than a scary one. Both of these types of characters exist in real life, so it is nice to see the differences between the two. Eastwood's film is a serious drama/thriller, whereas Hannes Holm's (Adam & Eva) is more of a romantic dramedy. The filming is reminiscent of romantic dramas like The Notebook, with sappy glowing shots but also depth. Yet the tone also has a darker comedic tone that is reminiscent of indie foreign films in general, like The Brand New Testament or Amelie. This tone keeps the film entertaining, yet keeps us thinking throughout the viewing experience.
One of the reasons why this film is highly ranked in my books is because of the way I felt after walking out of the theater. I was sad, yet charmed by what I had watched. I was capable of leaving the theater with two different perspectives, depending on what I focused on throughout the film. Personally, I thought that the film ended with a happier tone. Yet, after discussing it with others who had seen the film, I was unsure of how the director wanted audiences to respond to the ending. Art house films like this one show us that we can look at a piece of art and get multiple perspectives on the same piece.
The Bottom Line: This film is a fantastic portrayal of a curmudgeon who picked all of the wrong cards in life, but has a chance to redeem himself.