A Man Called Otto Delivers Another Solid Tom Hanks Performance

In the film A Man Called Otto, Tom Hanks plays Otto, a lonely curmudgeon who believes people do not follow the rules, don’t know how to do simple things and he says all the things that everyone thinks, but never say because they don’t want to be rude. On the surface he dislikes everyone because believes everyone to be “idiots.” So when a Marisol (Marana Trevino) and her family move in across the street, they begin to become a part of Otto’s life. As such, the film begins to reveal the layers of Ottos past, while also giving him purpose in his life.

Both Hanks and Trevino deliver enjoyable performances. Hanks’ performance is one we have come to expect from him. He gives deep emotional depth of not just being bad-tempered, but also having emotional sorrow, loneliness, reminiscent love and friendship. While it might seem easy to dislike the idea of a curmudgeon, he is never truly dislikeable because as we start to understand him, we realize that he is not unreasonable, he just expects people to respect the unspoken rules of society, the way he does.

While Trevino’s performance of Marisol never crosses into annoying neighbor who should mind her own business. She is friendly, bubbly, and all around likeable. She stands up to Otto and shows care towards him in the way a daughter would stand up to a elderly father.

Together, they have excellent chemistry which really drives home the importance of personal connection, friendship, love, and community, especially for those who are alone in their lives.

These themes are held well by a strong supporting Based on a novel, the pacing of the film is good, constantly moving forward as if we are reading a new chapter when introducing new things about Otto and his neighbors.

The film is good for anyone looking for an entertaining and positively emotional ride. Just be sure to bring some tissues.

I needed them.

4 out of 5 stars.