When asked during our recent webcam chat (watch above) about his Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film for “A Man Called Ove,” director Hannes Holm likened it to when he was a child, and his native Sweden used to play ice hokey against the Soviet Union. “I felt like a ten-year-old boy when the Swedes scored against Russia,” he admits. The film stars Rolf Lassgard as a grouchy old man intent on committing suicide after the death of his wife, but not before a new family moves into his neighborhood and thaws his icy heart.
After reading Fredrik Backman‘s bestselling novel of the same name, Holm, “couldn’t resist,” turning it into a film because, “it wasn’t a movie about a grumpy old man. It was a fantastic love story. I was really surprised, and that’s the best way to see films, when you’re surprised that it’s not what you expected.”
Lassgard had a similar reaction after reading the script. “I immediately saw it was a fantastic character to play,” he reveals, “because in the beginning, he seems to be like one person, and during the story, it’s like small Chinese boxes that are opening, and you find a different side of this person. That is a big challenge for an actor.”
“A Man Called Ove” competes against “Land of Mine,” “The Salesman,” “Tanna,” and “Toni Erdmann” at the Oscars. Additionally, it contends for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. (click here for our video interview with nominees Love Larson and Eva von Bahr).
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