Based on the best-selling book by Fredrik Backman, the Swedish-language movie “A Man Called Ove” tells the story of “the quintessential angry old man” whose life changes when a young family moves in next door. [Image courtesy of Music Box Films]

In the movie “A Man Called Ove,” the lead character is the “quintessential angry old man next door” who spends his days visiting his wife’s grave and enforcing block association rules that only he cares about. Adding to his general disagreeable disposition is his frustration upon discovering attempts to institutionalize his old neighborhood friend who has Alzheimer’s.

Life changes for Ove when a young family moves in next door. Despite his attempts to rebuff the friendly overtures of the couple – the husband accidentally runs over Ove’s mailbox – an unlikely friendship blooms – particularly after the wife discovers the source of Ove’s heartbreak.

The internationally best-selling novel by Swedish author Fredrik Backman was adapted for a popular movie of the same name; the film will screen at Star Hall, 159 E. Center St., on Thursday, May 25, at 7 p.m.

The film is one of Sweden’s biggest, locally produced box office hits ever. Directed by Hannes Holm, the film stars Rolf Lassgård, who won Best Actor award at the 2016 Seattle International Film Festival for his performance as Ove.

The movie won multiple awards, including a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Academy Awards, and best European Comedy at the 29th European Film Awards.

The free monthly movie series at Star Hall is a collaboration between Grand County Public Library and the Salt Lake City-based Utah Film Center – a nonprofit organization that strives to “bring community together through the powerful and efficient medium of film.”

“This fiction film was an easy one to choose and a great film to present with the library, because it’s one of the few examples where both the book and the movie are wonderful,” UFC film program coordinator Davey Davis said.

“It’s a transformative story about an old curmudgeon finding life, but it’s also a funny, heartwarming story about death, of all things,” he said. “It shouldn’t be missed. It’s a great chance to see Swedish life and countryside presented with beautiful art direction.”

The novel has become one of the library’s most popular checked-out items, said library assistant Jessie Magleby, who helps choose the films shown each month.

“I read ‘A Man Called Ove’ several years ago upon the recommendation of a friend at Back of Beyond Books,” Magleby said. “I was touched by the message of friendship, community, inclusion and compassion and was charmed by its black humor and the curmudgeonly protagonist. We’re delighted that the movie adaptation has received such excellent reviews and critical acclaim.”

The film center has continued to provide quality films for free to Utah communities after an electrical fire last year that destroyed its office. The nonprofit has since moved into a new space in downtown Salt Lake.

“Moab was one of the first collaborations on our Utah Film circuit, almost five years ago now,” UFC Programming Director Patrick Hubley said. “We work with the library – it’s a wonderful and beneficial partnership. We enjoy working with them.”

The film center is able to share free movies with various Utah communities through fundraising, and donations to the center. Donations are also accepted at the screenings.

“A Man Called Ove” is in Swedish with English subtitles.

Swedish movie based on best-selling book screens on May 25

What: “A Man Called Ove”

When: Thursday, May 25, at 7 p.m.

Where: Star Hall, 159 E. Center St.

Cost: Free


It’s a transformative story about an old curmudgeon finding life, but it’s also a funny, heartwarming story about death, of all things.