‘Man Called Otto’ Is Oscar-Bait at Its Worst

Audiences crave predictability in measured doses.

We want the superhero to save the day, the boy to both meet and stay with the girl in a rom-com. So when we see the curmudgeonly antihero in “A Man Called Otto” we don’t want him to stay curmudgeonly for long.

Formulas matter, but screenplays need something extra to make them magical. The classic quote, “I’ll have what she’s having,” from “When Harry Met Sally” jumps to mind.

Tom Hanks’ “Otto” offers little fresh or rewarding. It’s a curdled lineup of tropes begging us to like them. The Oscar winner allows himself to be nasty at times, a welcome change from his standard screen image.

What’s missing is a story that has even a mild relationship with reality.

Hanks’ Otto Anderson is at the end of his...

Contains Mention
Jan 6th 2023
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