A MAN CALLED OTTO*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film starts with Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks) buying rope at a hardware store. When he goes to pay, he complains to the cashier that he is being overcharged a few cents more for the length of his rope.
Otto is known in his neighborhood for being grumpy and bitter, as well as being a stickler for the rules, such as leaving the gate on his street open and people having their parking permits hanging on their rearview mirrors. Despite this, there are some neighbors like Jimmy (Cameron Britton) who still make attempts to reach out to Otto, even though he considers almost everyone to be an idiot. He goes to his job on his last day and finds that his coworkers have thrown him a retirement party, but he does not partake. Otto returns home to cancel the electricity in his house.
Otto uses the rope to make a noose in his kitchen, as he is planning to end his life until he sees the new neighbors across the street clumsily trying to back their U-haul onto their street. Otto runs outside and meets the Mendes family – husband Tommy (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), pregnant wife Marisol (Mariana Treviño), and daughters Luna (Christiana Montoya) and Abbie (Alessandra Perez). Otto helps the family with their car in his own grumpy way, then returns to his home to finish his deed. He is interrupted again when Tommy and Marisol show up and give him a plate of food that Marisol cooked. Otto accepts it and eats it, finding himself enjoying it, then decides to hang himself. As he prepares to die, he sees flashes of his life, including memories of his father, but the hook holding the noose breaks off, and Otto crashes to the floor. He then notices an ad for a discount on flower bouquets.
Otto goes to the cemetery to visit the grave of his wife, Sonya, along with the flowers he bought. He speaks as though she is there with him and talks about greedy real estate developers from a company called Dye & Merica (which he says sounds like “dying America”).
At night, Otto reminisces about himself as a young man (here played by Truman Hanks). He failed the physical exam for the army because of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic heart condition that Otto’s own father suffered and died from. On his way back to Pittsburgh, he spotted Sonya (Rachel Keller) as she dropped her book on the way to her train. Otto chased her down and found her, returning her book and sitting down with her. He had already become smitten with her, but he realized he got on the wrong train. Sonya gave him some change so he can pay for the ticket on this train. She allowed him to keep the change (a pure silver quarter that he still has to this day), and she later joined him for dinner.
The next day, Otto deals with an agent from Dye & Merica (Mike Birbiglia) when he drives on the street, as well as a neighbor he dislikes throwing rocks at a cat near his house because the cat scratched her dog. Otto is then approached by Tommy and Marisol again, this time bringing him Salvadoran cookies and asking Otto if they can borrow his ladder. Another neighbor, Anita (Juanita Jennings), asks Otto for help with bleeding her radiators so it can produce heat again. Otto begrudgingly does so on the condition she gives him back a garden hose he let her borrow over the summer. Otto also has a bit of a grudge with Anita’s husband Reuben (Peter Lawson Jones) after a perceived “coup” against Otto, and Reuben also suffers from a condition that has mostly left him a vegetable, with limited movement. Anita says their son Chris has suggested putting him in a senior care home. As Otto finishes his job and tries to leave, Reuben grabs the garden hose and latches onto it as if he knows what Otto plans to really do with it, but Otto pulls it from his grip.
Otto sits in his car in the garage and attempts suicide once again via carbon monoxide poisoning (hence the hose). As he sits to die, he remembers his dinner date with Sonya. She noticed Otto didn’t order food for himself. He confessed that he felt he had no prospects because he couldn’t join the army and no way of getting work, so he was prepared for Sonya to be done with him, but as he started to walk out, Sonya grabbed his hand and kissed him in front of the other patrons, who cheered for them. Otto then hears Marisol banging on the garage door as Tommy fell from the ladder and she needs a ride to the hospital since she doesn’t have a license, which baffles Otto, but he obliges her request.
At the hospital, Otto sits with Luna and Abbie to read them a story in a funny voice, as they have started calling him “Abuelo Otto” (Grandpa Otto). They are approached by a hospital clown called Beppo (Julian Manjerico) to entertain the girls. He asks for a quarter for a trick, and Otto gives him Sonya’s quarter and demands it back when he’s done. Beppo does the trick, but Otto notices that the clown switched the quarters, and he begins to physically attack him, leading Beppo to cry before the hospital staff chastises Otto. Otto then takes the family home, and Marisol notices him slightly smiling.
The following morning, Marisol finds the cat lying in the snow, close to death. With help from Jimmy and Otto, they warm the cat up, and Jimmy takes the cat with him since Otto doesn’t want him.
Otto drives to the train station, where he remembers how he graduated with a degree in engineering and then asked Sonya to marry him. Otto walks toward the train tracks, seemingly ready to kill himself there until a nearby man passes out and falls onto the tracks. While everyone else just films the man, Otto jumps onto the tracks to help the man back up onto the platform. He then stands on the tracks and waits for the train until another man pulls Otto back up. The other patrons look at Otto like a hero for saving the other man.
Otto is later approached by Marisol, who gives him a drawing that Abbie made for him, where he is the only drawn in color. Jimmy then comes by with the cat and says he had an allergic reaction to him, leaving Otto stuck with the cat. He puts the cat in a box and brings him to visit Sonya’s grave, where he talks to her about the cat and about the Mendes family.
Otto later sees a teenager named Malcolm (Mack Bayda), who delivers papers on his bike. Otto chastises him for it, but Malcolm tells Otto that he knew Sonya as his teacher, as she was the first person to acknowledge his transgender identity and called him by his new name, encouraging the other teachers to do the same. Otto is then friendly with Malcolm for sharing this memory.
Otto then decides to take Marisol out for driving lessons by driving his manual car. She is nervous and stalls a lot on the road, leading to a guy in a pickup truck honking at her. Otto aggressively confronts the man to stop honking since Marisol is learning. He calms her down and helps her keep driving. They end up at a pastry shop where Otto would go with Sonya all the time, and he buys Marisol a Swedish eclair that he and Sonya would eat. Otto talks to Marisol about how things were for him and Sonya when they first moved to the neighborhood, where they were best friends with Reuben and Anita (played in flashbacks by Laval Schley and Emonie Ellison), but Otto and Reuben had disagreements over their love for cars (Otto preferred Chevys while Reuben was a Ford guy). Marisol later asks Otto to babysit Luna and Abbie while she and Tommy go on a date.
Later on, Otto helps Malcolm fix his bike chain before he is approached by a young woman named Shari Kenzie (Kelly Lamor Wilson), a social media journalist. She wants to interview Otto over his rescue of the man who fell on the train tracks, but he turns her away. Marisol comes by again and offers to help clean his stuff out, including some old coats of Sonya’s, but this makes Otto upset, and he angrily rejects her help. Making things worse is the Dye & Merica agent coming by again, telling Otto that they have a file on him and that he knows about Otto’s heart condition. Otto’s heart starts to cause him distress, and when Marisol tries to help, Otto just returns to his house and doesn’t answer her when she continues knocking on his door.
Otto goes to grab a rifle. He sees a cap from Niagara Falls and relives his worst memory with Sonya. She was about six months pregnant when they were taking a bus back from the Falls, and the bus got into a terrible crash. Sonya was paralyzed, and they lost their baby. Otto then hears a knock on the door and just barely misses his face when he accidentally pulls the trigger. He finds Malcolm at the door, asking if he can crash on his couch because his father kicked him out since he doesn’t accept his trans identity. Otto lets him stay on the couch. In the morning, Malcolm makes breakfast and helps Otto do his rounds on the neighborhood.
Otto and Malcolm are found by Jimmy, who tells Otto that Dye & Merica is trying to force Reuben and Anita out of their home since they found out about Anita’s Parkinsons diagnosis, which she hasn’t told anyone else about. The company also allegedly made arrangements with Chris for selling his parents’ house, but Anita has stated that Chris hasn’t talked to them in years and has also been living in Japan. Otto needs to make a call and asks Marisol to use her phone, but she refuses because of how he yelled at her and didn’t answer the door when she was knocking for a long time and had her worried. Otto apologizes for his behavior and tells Marisol the truth, that he has been trying to commit suicide after losing Sonya, and he also mentions how he was kicked out as the head of the Homeowners Association for attacking one of the board members for not allowing for help for Sonya, who needed a ramp to go up and down her steps (hence the “coup”). Marisol lets him use her phone, and Otto knows who to call.
The Dye & Merica agent arrives with a few of his goons in tow to try and evict Reuben and Anita from their home. Otto had called Shari and her own crew to record Otto exposing the company for illegally obtaining medical files on himself and Anita, as well as lying to them about being in contact with Chris over negotiating the sale of his parents’ home. The agent tries to say that nobody would be able to care for Reuben and Anita under their conditions, but Jimmy steps in and says he would because they are like his family. The agents are then forced to leave over more bad publicity. Just as everyone feels victorious, Otto collapses from his heart condition.
Marisol meets Otto at the hospital, as she was listed as his next of kin. The cardiologist tells Marisol about Otto having an enlarged heart, to which Marisol laughs at the irony of somebody like Otto having too big of a heart. Moments later, Marisol begins to go into labor. She gives birth to a son, Marco.
During a party for Marco’s birth, Otto presents Marisol with a crib he had built for what would have been his and Sonya’s son, and he gives it to them as a gift for Marco. Otto then brings the family to Sonya’s grave to introduce them. Otto then goes to visit Reuben after helping him and Anita keep their home, and Reuben manages to crack a smile.
A couple of years pass. Otto gives Malcolm his car as a gift, and he writes a letter that he leaves on his nightstand. He also buys a new Chevy and takes Marisol and the girls out to the pastry shop. One morning, Tommy tells Marisol that he notices Otto didn’t shovel the snow off his walk. The two go to his house and find Otto dead on his bed, having succumbed to his heart condition. As Marisol cries over his body, Tommy finds the letter that he wrote, addressed to Marisol. In it, Otto explains that he didn’t hurt himself and that he knew his time was coming. He made arrangements with his lawyer to leave his home and money, as well as the cat, to Marisol and her family, which would help put the kids through school and keep them afloat, but he tells Sonya to not let Tommy drive the Chevy, letting her know that she is most definitely not an idiot. The family sets up a funeral for Otto, which has a decent turnout and includes people like Malcolm and Shari. Jimmy and Malcolm vow to complete Otto’s rounds like he used to. Otto signed the letter “Abuelo Otto”, and the last shot shows he was buried next to Sonya.
Otto Anderson is a grumpy old man, depressed from the loss of his wife Sonya. As he prepares to commit suicide, Otto meets the new neighbors, the Mendes family. He develops a bond with the pregnant wife, Marisol, and becomes a surrogate grandfather to her daughters Luna and Abbie. He also adopts a stray cat and bonds with his other neighbors Jimmy, a couple named Reuben and Anita (who were both close with him and Sonya in their youths), and a teenager named Malcolm.
Otto has to deal with nosy real estate agents from a company called Dye & Merica, who are trying to evict Reuben and Anita from their home. After telling Marisol about his struggles coping with Sonya's loss and his multiple suicide attempts, she helps him contact a young journalist named Shari that had earlier tried to interview Otto, and they expose the company for their illegal practices.
Later on, Marisol gives birth to a baby boy named Marco, and Otto gives Malcolm his car as a gift. Over time, Otto succumbs to a heart condition he had been suffering from, but he leaves his assets to Marisol and her family to help support them.