February 3 – 7

A Man Named Otto

February 3 – 7

7:00 pm Nightly

Matinee Sun Feb 5 @ 1:30
Rated PG — 2 hr 6 min

Drama / Comedy

Tom Hanks gets old and cranky in a heart-wrenching tale of love, loss and aging. In A Man Called Otto, Anderson (Tom Hanks) is a grumpy widower who is very set in his ways. When a lively young family moves in next door, he meets his match in quick-witted and very pregnant Marisol (Mariana Treviño), leading to an unlikely friendship that will turn his world upside-down.

In Marc Forster’s dramedy, Otto couldn’t pick his daily battles if his life depended on it. Living in an unfussy suburban neighborhood of identical row houses somewhere in the Midwest, the aging man gets easily annoyed by every little misstep of a stranger. And his protests are so pronounced that they even rival Larry David’s in an average episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Otto can’t wait to join his wife on the other side (she has passed away), but his frequent suicide attempts get interrupted in episodes that are sometimes awkwardly funny, and other times, just plain awkward. It’s a film that explores the bleak existence of an elderly man who’s stuck in limbo – a life after life where he’s lost his place in the world. Thankfully, it’s not too long before he finds a new one.

Otto, the anti-Forrest Gump, is definitely on the opposite end of the happiness spectrum. A Man Called Otto highlights all the greatest hits of Otto’s life, but it starts at the opposite end of a life lived. Through flashbacks, we learn why Otto is the way he is, as well as find out more about the love of his life… and exactly why she meant so much to him. Hanks walks a fine line between loveable grouch and eccentric geriatric, with plenty of his trademark heart thrown in for good measure.

The way in which people accept and deal with death is a question A Man Called Otto invites the audience to ponder. For Otto, the fear associated with moving on when a loved one dies is stronger than the fear he feels when thinking about dying himself.

There’s no denying the darkness at the root of the story – Otto’s determination to kill himself. His various attempts are shown on screen and you will want to keep that in mind if you’re planning to watch this PG-13 production with your teens. But it’s nevertheless wholesome crowd-pleasing, family viewing.

Mark Forster

Tom Hanks · John Higgins · Tony Bingham · Lily Kozub · Mack Bayda · Cameron Britton · Juanita Jennings · Peter Lawson Jones