Tom Hanks is Otto, a man who lost his wife and with her also his will to live. Otto was an unexciting youth who managed to win the heart of a beautiful woman. They lived a happy life, but with a big drama. As a widower Otto knows nothing to do but to go about his daily, grumpy, routine and planning to join his wife.
Otto lives in a closed street which is some sort of community. Then he gets new neighbors in the form of a young Mexican couple with two little daughters and a third child on the way. They soon get to know cranky Otto, but Marisol (either consciously or not) manages to break a hole in the wall that Otto built around him. It does take a while before she learns how Otto became the man that he is though.
I thought “A Man Named Otto” would be a tragi-comedy. Indeed, chagrin Otto is in some ways funny, but his is mostly tragic. What is perhaps the heaviest part of the film, is that Otto is just the guy down your street. There is no big story in the film. Otto, Marisol and her family, the neighbors from the street are the common man. A teacher, an immigrant, somebody’s son, nothing fancy there. The same goes for Otto. He is a mechanic, his wife was a teacher; together they tried to keep their neighborhood clean. Life was easy and good while it lasted, life was but life after. Otto’s story is painfully relatable and so are (some of) the other characters in the film, which makes the tragedy quite heart-felt.