Swedish curmudgeon warms hearts in REEL Thursdays final movie

Published: November 13, 2017


The final movie of the fall REEL Thursdays library fundraising season will hit the Spruce Grove movie screen on November 16 at 7 p.m.

Based on Fredrik Backman’s bestselling novel, and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Academy Awards, A Man Called Ove (PG) combines dark humour and moving sincerity in its depiction of a cantankerous old man who may not be as detached and heard-hearted as he initially seems.

After losing both his wife and the railroad job he’s held for decades, Ove considers the long, lonely days ahead of him.   The only activity that occupies his time is crankily (and unofficially) enforcing his neighborhood association’s various rules and regulations.   Friendless and jobless, Ove decides that he’s had enough of his lonesome and joyless existence and resolves to end things.

But his plans are interrupted by the activities of the newly moved-in family across the street.  Parveneh, an Iranian immigrant and pregnant mother of two, is pragmatic and seemingly unaffected by Ove’s gloomy disposition.  As Ove grudgingly interacts with his new neighbors – first out of necessity, and eventually out of growing curiosity – his past unfolds to reveal the events that have shaped him into a curmudgeonly recluse.

“A Man Called Ove is both wryly tongue-in-cheek and gently earnest,” quotes the Toronto International Film Festival, which helps bring arthouse movies to smaller communities through its Film Circuit program.   “It demonstrates the immeasurable importance of community, no matter how small, and that a bit of faith in each other can lead to strong neighbourly bonds.”

Please note that the movie is presented in Swedish with English subtitles.

Tickets for the fundraiser, priced at $12, are available at the Spruce Grove Public Library during business hours or at the Landmark Theatre door the night of the movie, if tickets still remain. 

Patrons are invited to attend the complimentary wine and cheese beginning at 5:30 p.m. at nearby Liquor on McLeod.  State and Main will offer patrons a discount on their food and beverage following the movie.  Landmark Cinemas offers patrons a discount coupon on popcorn and soda.  

Other community sponsors for REEL Thursdays include Zender Ford, Lions Club of Spruce Grove, Creative Color, the Rotary Club of Spruce Grove and Kedra Transport.   Jack’s Drive-In and Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria will distribute coupons to the first 200 patrons at the door, an added bonus for movie-goers.

Movies are delivered courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Film Circuit program, which brings arthouse movies to smaller community markets.

REEL Thursdays is organized by the Friends of the Spruce Grove Public Library, raising funds and voices for the benefit of the local library.    The Friends organization is seeking a volunteer interested in serving as secretary.   For further information, e-mail friends@sgpl.ca or join the REEL Thursdays discussion group on Facebook.