A Man Called Ove

Nit-picking obstructionist melts.

Based on Swedish bestselling novel, this feelgood black comedy tracks Ove, a grumpy, grieving mechanic and “nit-picking obstructionist” who’s just lost his job. A string of Ove’s suicide attempts are thwarted by a series of comically mundane interruptions by new neighbour Parvaneh – straight-talking pregnant Persian with two small children who adore him.

It’s moving to see Ove’s cantankerousness melted away by Parvaneh’s sunny good nature. By giving voice to blue-collar anxieties before working to resolve them, the film suggests that community can cure almost all ailments.

Holm’s well-judged adaptation of the bestseller keeps the maudlin to a minimum and plays the black comedy just right. A strong contender for feel-good film of the year. EMPIRE