A Man Called Ove wins Best Comedy
For the second year in a row Sweden wins Best European Comedy at EFA — the European Oscars. In 2015 it was Roy Andersson's A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence that got the prestigious award, and this year Sweden’s box office success A Man Called Ove, directed by Hannes Holm, received the statuette for Best European Comedy at the gala ceremony held in Wrocław, Poland.

A Man Called Ove has been seen by 1.7 million moviegoers in Sweden alone (population 10 million). The film, the Swedish Oscar entry in 2016, is number three on the list for most successful Swedish films ever domestically, and no other film has tempted more people to the cinemas in the past 45 years. It has not only been a hit domestically, but it has also been on the New York Times best seller list for 46 weeks.
The drama comedy is based on Fredrik Backman’s successful novel with the same title which we reviewed in issue 16 this year. It tells the story of 59-year-old Ove (Rolf Lassgård), a grumpy old man, an isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about. But, when pregnant Parvaneh (Bahar Pars) and her family move into the house opposite and accidentally back into Ove’s mailbox the initial conflict turns into an unexpected friendship.
We gave the film and main actors five stars — as many others have as well. Our review: A Man Called Ove - review
"The story of the film is universal; grumpy old men exist everywhere,” said actor Rolf Lassgård when we met up with him in New York City in the fall with director Hannes Holm, who added how the immigrant aspects of the story would resonate well in America, a country of immigrants. “Ove behaves like a racist but he’s not a racist. He’s just a man who’s afraid of changes in society, and audiences easily connect with either him or the other main character, the vibrant lively Iranian wife of the new neighbor,” Holm said.
If you missed the film in theaters, it is now available on DVD through Nordstjernan: A Man Called Ove at Nordic Sampler

On the shortlist for an Oscar
A Man Called Ove is also one of the nine feature films that will advance to the next round of voting in the foreign-language film category for the 89th Academy Awards.
The shortlisted films in the category Best Foreign Language were selected from a record 85 submissions this year. Upon hearing the news, director Hannes Holm, through commentary from the Swedish Film Institute, said “[This is] obviously great news! Ove is first of all a powerful story. But it also touches on some hot topics, and that makes it feel even greater to be able to reach so many people all over the world with this story. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone in the team who fought so hard for this project.”

A Man Called Ove is produced by Annica Bellander Rune and Nicklas Wikstrom Nicastro and production company Tre Vänner in co-production with Film i Väst, Nordisk Film, SVT, Nordsvensk Filmunderhållning, Fantefilm with funding from the Swedish Film Institute, Norwegian Film Institute and Nordic Film & TV fund.

Not just Nordstjernan but several other U.S. critics have expressed their views on why the film works so well:

 "Holm’s adaptation is a darkly funny, tragic, and ultimately heartwarming tearjerker about the life of one lonely but extraordinary man." - Entertainment Weekly

"It's a heartwarming tale about a stubborn, short-tempered man with steadfast beliefs, strict routines and the feeling that everyone around him is an idiot — and no reticence about telling them so." - Variety

"Incorporating fluid flashbacks and snippets of narration that refreshingly serve to enhance rather than distract, director-writer Hannes Holm maintains a gentle, lyrical flow while coaxing fine performances from a diverse cast." - Los Angeles Times


Nominations for the 89th Oscars will be announced on January 24. The ceremonies will be held on February 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.