#FromPageToScreen | A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Whenever a book becomes a best seller, you start to hear murmurings about adaptations whether for tv or the big screen. Some people love this and can’t wait to see their favourite stories and characters brought to life on screen. Other people hate it and want to keep their own ideas of how they envisage the characters. Sometimes an adaptation works really well, sometimes it’s not so well received. In this occasional series, I’m going to look at some books which I have read and see what I made of the adaptation. One thing I’m sure we can all agree on: the book is always better!

Original UK cover

Today I’ve chosen A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I read this when it first came out about ten years ago and absolutely loved this emotional story. I remember passing it onto my late dad who also loved it and we read quite a few of Backman’s books. Ove is one of the grumpiest characters you can imagine but he is most definitely lovable. The book is one that has some very moving scenes but is also incredibly funny, something that is hard to pull off but Backman managed it admirably.

What did I think of the adaptation?

I went to see the 2016 Swedish version of the film in the now sadly closed Edinburgh Filmhouse cinema with my friend and we both laughed and cried watching the antics of Ove brought to life on the screen. The film is in Swedish with English subtitles. I think it’s an excellent adaptation with actor Rolf Lassgård perfect in the role of Ove. The flashback parts of the film where we follow socially inept Ove meet and fall in love with his wife Sonya (played by Ida Engvoll) were so lovely to watch. Bahar Pars as Ove’s Iranian neighbour Parveneh was particularly good. It was a while between me reading the book and watching the film so I can’t quite recall if there were many changes but I do think it was true to the spirit of Ove.

Where can you watch it?

A Man Called Ove is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime where you can also rent or buy the newer version, renamed A Man Called Otto and starring the ever excellent Tom Hanks. I missed this one in the cinema so think this might be my weekend viewing! I see you can also buy it to watch on YouTube.

Have you watched the adapted version? Have you read the book? Let me know what you think especially if you have both read the book and watched an adaptation. Did you think it was a good re-imagining of the book or did it spoil what you thought of the book?

14 thoughts on “#FromPageToScreen | A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

  1. I didn’t get to see the Swedish one, but I did see the Tom Hanks one. The problem with Hanks is… he’s Tom Hanks and everyone loves him. So, his trying to be a curmudgeon feels a bit… wrong at the start of the movie. Obviously, as the story progresses and we start to like Otto more, it feels better. In the end, I still cried at the same place where I cried with the book, so it was very good.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We didn’t have the chance to watch it this weekend after all but will do soon. I know what you mean about Tom Hanks. This week the Harold Fry film hits the cinemas so I’m really wanting to see that too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know you love her books too. I’ll need to wait a wee bit longer for Harold Fry though as it’s next weekend it comes out, not this one! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you, I read the book years ago. It was one of those books that stayed with me, so I was excited to see the movie adaption with Tom Hanks. He was perfect in the movie, as was Mariana Trevino as the neighbor. Just like you pointed out the book’s ability to make one laugh and cry, the movie did the same thing. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the theater when the movie ended. Most of us just sat there for a few minutes after the movie ended, trying to get ourselves under control.

    Liked by 1 person

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