A Man Called Otto a powerful portrayal of love of neighbor – Catholic World Report

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by
Tom Hanks, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Mariana Treviño star in “A Man Called Otto”. (Image: http://www.imdb.com)

My son and I went to see Tom Hanks’ new movie, A Man Called Otto, recently. On the way to the theater, I commented to him that I really had no idea what the plot was. He didn’t either. He simply wanted to see it because he likes Tom Hanks and the trailer looked funny.

Imagine my surprise when I found a beautiful movie that focused on the importance of loving your neighbor. Interspersed with that is a subtle commentary on the value of all people.

This is a lesson pro-life people have always tried to teach. Being pro-life is not just about saving babies. We see the value and dignity of all people—born and pre-born. And A Man Called Otto knocks this truth out of the proverbial park.

Otto is a grouchy and cantankerous widower who is deeply grieving the recent loss of his wife. In one of the opening scenes, we see Otto buying rope and causing a problem at the hardware store because he felt he was overcharged. Upon his arrival home, he meets some new neighbors—a lovely pregnant Hispanic mother named Marisol, her husband, and their two adorable daughters. Irritated with the father’s attempt to parallel park, Otto jumps in the car to do it for him.

Just a few minutes later, back in his home, Otto forms a noose, attaches it to the ceiling, and is about to secure it around his neck when there’s a knock at the door. It’s the couple. They brought him food and thanked him for his help.

The movie continues on like this, with Marisol lovingly insinuating herself and her family into Otto’s life. She can tell he’s lonely and sad, though she does not realize the extent of his grief. But it is her constant love, her outreach, and her kindness that change him and that help him see that he matters.

Otto is soon able to look outside his grief to see the pain that others around him feel—and he takes steps to help them. Through interactions with a disabled friend and a young “transgender” student, Otto comes to the realization that people need one another and that all human beings have value—even though many in the world fail to see this.

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A Man Called Otto a powerful portrayal of love of neighbor – Catholic World Report

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