This summer at Scandinavia House, see the critically acclaimed Nordic films that inspired American remakes in the series “The Nordics Do It Better”! You’ve seen the Hollywood version — did you know how good the original was?
The series kicks off with a June 28 screening of A Man Called Ove /En man som heter Ove, the comic and touching tale of Ove, a stubborn, short-tempered, and cantankerous widower who is given a new lease on life after meeting a new and very different neighbor, which has now been remade in the Tom Hanks-led 2022 film A Man Called Otto in theaters now. Based on the international best-selling novel of the same name by Fredrik Backman, and adapted for the screen by writer-director Hannes Holm, A Man Called Ove is one of Sweden’s biggest hits and won the 2016 Audience, Best Actor, and Best Make-Up Guldbagge awards (Sweden’s Academy Awards).
Ove (Rolf Lassgård) is a widower, recently downsized out of his longtime job, and the grumpiest man on the block. Despite being voted out as president of the resident’s association years ago, he still polices all neighborhood infractions with an iron fist. When pregnant Parvaneh (Bahar Pars) and her family move into the house opposite Ove’s, they accidentally back their car into his mailbox, beginning an unexpected friendship between the curmudgeon and his newest neighbors.
Unfolding in both the present and the past, writer-director Hannes Holm gradually reveals the events that have led a sensitive and resourceful small town boy to grow into the older man whose prickly exterior is but a facade for a rich, multi-layered, and ultimately poignant character.
“As Ove, Lassgård gives one of the year’s best performances… a rich, complex performance that is both funny and moving” (RogerEbert.com)
“Black comedy with a big heart” (The Guardian)
About Hannes Holm
Hannes Holm was born and raised on Lidingö in Stockholm and his entry into the film industry was somewhat serendipitous. At a concert he ran into director Birgitta Svensson who asked him if he wanted to be in an upcoming film that she was working on. Holm accepted and in 1981 made his acting debut in Interrail. After working as assistant director on Sömnen, Holm then worked as a host for a number of children’s programs on SVT including Förspelet together with his future collaborator Måns Herngren. He made his directorial debut in the late 1980’s with the television series Bröderna Olsson and together with Herngren created the cult series S*M*A*S*H.
Later Holm was hired as an adjunct head of drama at SVT’s Kanal 1 and in this role was responsible for the purchasing of scripts for television series and films. In 1994 he left SVT and he and Herngren made their feature film directorial debut with the tragicomedy En på miljonen. The film was a critical and box office success. Holm and Herngren continued to make successful films together, including Adam and Eva (Adam och Eva, 1997) and Wonderful and Loved by All (Underbar och älskad av alla, 2007), written by Herngren and Martina Haag.