[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for A Man Called Otto.]
Up till a sure level in 2022, Kate Bush was having a nice 12 months: Because of a bit of present referred to as Stranger Issues, her 1985 single “Operating Up That Hill” grew to become the tune of the summer season, making a whole technology sit up and admire the English singer/songwriter. However then got here a movie referred to as A Man Referred to as Otto, and maybe the worst use of a tune in a film I’ve ever seen. What A Man Referred to as Otto does to “This Lady’s Work”… It isn’t simply on the nostril, it’s a center finger jammed proper up the left nostril.
There are not any scarcity of the explanation why A Man Referred to as Otto, the Tom Hanks-starring adaptation of Fredrik Backman’s acclaimed novel, doesn’t work. A lot of them should do with the selection to solid America’s Dad as a suicidal grump who desires nothing to do with the charming younger household that’s simply moved subsequent door to him (spoiler alert: stated charming younger household helps Otto discover a cause to dwell once more). However within the arms of director Marc Forster, Backman’s story turns into painful melodrama, particularly due to one of many ugliest sequences I’ve ever seen on display.
Brief model: Do you just like the tune “This Lady’s Work”? Don’t watch A Man Referred to as Otto, when you ever need to get pleasure from listening to it ever once more.
A Man Referred to as Otto is basically structured round a just lately retired widower’s a number of makes an attempt to die by suicide, utilizing totally different strategies that every one backfire (the hook connecting the rope to the ceiling breaks, he’s interrupted whereas attempting to inhale carbon monoxide in his storage). Alongside the way in which, we’ve been handled to glimpses of Otto’s life as a younger man (performed by Hanks’ son Truman), earlier than tragedy remodeled him into the grump we meet at first of the movie.
The reveal of essentially the most traumatic occasion of Otto’s life happens comparatively late within the movie, as he but once more makes an attempt suicide, this time utilizing a shotgun he’s had stashed within the attic. Otto’s meticulous preparations of his house for the aftermath of a deadly shotgun blast is intercut with flashbacks to a bus journey Otto took along with his now-deceased spouse (Rachel Keller) many years earlier than; a crash led to the pregnant Sonya miscarrying and likewise changing into paralyzed.