“A Man Called Otto” is a dramatic comedy. Otto is a grump who's given up on life following the loss of his wife and wants to end it all. When a young family moves in nearby, he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol, leading to a friendship that will turn his world around. It is based on the Swedish novel 'A Man Called Ove' by Fredrik Backman.
This was a well-received film. Performances by the main characters were well established and interesting. Standouts were Tom Hanks as Otto and Mariana Treviño as his neighbour Marisol. Comedy was woven in at critical times when Otto tried to end his life, with something humorous happening to destroy his attempt each time. Those who had read the book found it did not come up to the standard, but still managed to enjoy the film.
Comments from the class include “brilliant” and “delightful”, and could be summed up as “great tale of life ending well”. It was generally rated as 4/5.
“The Banshees of Inisherin” is classed as a dramatic comedy. Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences.
The cinematography, music and depiction of poverty in early Ireland were well established. The narrative was quite confronting and quite slow and disappointing. There were good performances by the main characters, played by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. Even with these positives, the film was generally rated as only 2-3/5.
“What’s Love got to do with it” is a romantic comedy. It is the story of different cultures and the approach to love and marriage. Zoe is a documentary maker and dating app addict. Kaz is from a Pakistan background and decides to follow his parents’ example and opt for “assisted” marriage.
This was a fun film, starring Lily James (Zoe), Emma Thompson (her mother) and Shazad Latif (Kaz). It was generally enjoyed by those who saw it as a light happy film and rated as around 3/5.
“Babylon” and “TÁR” were not seen by many in the class. Comments on “Babylon” included it as a believable engaging story of the era and may in the future be seen as a cinema classic. It was confronting with some rather dark and some unsavoury scenes. “TÁR” was an interesting and amazing film in retrospect, with different people seeing different things. It was brilliantly acted though slow to start. It is interesting that the community at large are often puzzled by the storyline and so some external reviews are not complimentary.
As I will be away for the April class, the decision was made to each talk about any films they had seen during the month, rather than focus on a specific film. This will also be the process for the May class.