A Man Called Otto: Movie Review

A Man Called Otto Movie Review: Conveniently Predictably Great

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There's really nothing special or distinctive about "A Man Called Otto". It's the kind of film that knows its audience and its audience knows what they're getting themselves into. This drama comedy may be a bit too conventional to be anything but regular fare but at least it does its execution well and expect to be tugged by the heartstrings one way or another.

Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks) recently lost his wife Sonya (Rachel Keller)). With this the grumpy old man no longer sees a purpose to live. Otto in fact is ready to end it for good but his plans to commit suicide is interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door. When Otto meets Marisol (Mariana Treviño), her husband Tommy (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and their children, Otto may just find a reason to live again.

We're used to seeing Tom Hanks in more lively roles if we're being honest but him being a grumpy and solitary old man was the kind of Tom Hanks that we never knew we needed. Tom Hanks as Otto was solid and dramatically impactful. Hanks' performance was great but the Mexican actress Mariana Treviño was the bigger surprise for us. She was actually the character that brought this film's narrative and characters into a competently yet conventional mish-mash of emotions. Her character needed a lot of heart, a lot of nuance, and a lot of dramatic pull and Treviño was able to pull it off with ease.  Speaking off narrative and story, we liked how the film slowly unveiled Otto's back story and how well-paced everything was and it helped grab our attention more than we anticipated. But there's also no denying that the film was highly-predictable and you could see how particular scenarios play out a mile away. Overall, "A Man Called Otto" is a well-made film even with its conventional approach. If you're game for a film that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride, then "A Man Called Otto" is one of the better ways to achieve that high.

Rating: 3 and a half reels

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