OVE Rises Again

9781476738017_59bd6Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove (S&S/Atria, July 2014) is taking off again, rising on Amazon and building yet another holds queue. Already generally exceeding a 3:1 ratio in print (in some libraries we checked it is as high as 15:1) the second wave of attention is due to the film’s release On Demand and on disc. Holds for the film version are topping 44:1.

The movie recently made the Oscar shortlist in the Foreign Film category, meaning it has made the second round-cut (one more winnowing will be made by Jan. 15th to decide the five final nominees – IndieWire explains  the complicated and insider-y process).

Entertainment Weekly gave the film a strong B+ review, writing it “is a darkly funny, tragic, and ultimately heartwarming tearjerker.”

The Washington Post says it is like St. Vincent and Gran Torino but “a bit riskier and more intriguing.

NPR takes a contrarian view, writing it “won’t win Best Foreign Film this year, nor should it, but it’s worth your time, and it’s easy to see why this proudly populist movie was a smash hit in Sweden … [the] modest dramedy … is as sweetly sincere as it is market-driven, with gusts of saving black comedy rolling in to rescue it from excess goo.”

Like Backman’s books, a large part of the film’s buzz is based on word of mouth. IndieWire reports it opened with modest results and then grew steadily at every theater that ran it. When “other high-profile movies like Birth of a Nation, American Pastoral, and American Honey declined at the box office, arthouse exhibitors turned to Ove. And it just kept chugging along.”

Backman keeps chugging along too. See our stories about his rise and next books.

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