Director: Maren Ade
Cast : Peter Simonischek, Sandra Hüller, Trystan Pütter
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Language: German, English
Country of Origin: Germany 2016 162 mins. (15)
European Film Awards Winner Best Film, Nest Director, Best Script, Best Actor, Best Actress; Best Foreign Film London Film Critics' Awards
Released by Soda Pictures
Winfried Conradi's (Peter Simonischek), a free spirit, a born joker. Fake teeth, fart cushions, you name it he's up for it.
A fleeting visit from Winfried's daughter Ines (Sandra Huller) and the chance of a get together is all too brief. Ines, a corporate management strategist (she advises on firing people) for an oil company in Bucharest, is Ines on the phone, time rushed, got to go, bye dad. Is this her life choice?
And then Winfried's dog, his number one fan dies. It's take a break time, see the sites of Bucharest and maybe spend time with overworked, time conscious, pressured, got to meet a target, I'm really in control of my life, Ines. It doesn't work out and Winfried agrees to return to Germany. Bring on Toni, he'll sort it.
Enter Toni Erdmann, Winfried's alter ego, new teeth, wig and what a suit, posing as Ines's CEO's life coach and the German Ambassador. Everyone loves Toni except Ines. The absurd, surreal game begins and Toni, like a stalker on the edge of crazy land relentlessly pursues Ines. As father and daughter glide through embarrassment, resentment and anger towards Ines' karoke version of 'The Greater Love of All' at an Easter egg party and her life out of control, corporate team building, nudist birthday party, it maybe possible that Winfried's humour with a touch of desperation might have a point and he may even have a place in his daughter's life.
Original, hilarious, surreal, a 5-star German gem, critically praised at Cannes and winner of the Best Film, Best Director, Best Script, Best Actor and Best Actress at the European Film Awards and Best Foreign Film at the London Critics' awards, Toni Erdmann plays with the absurd and jumps into the should see, must see box.
Terrific performances throughout. Peter Simonischek and Sandra Huller are a dream team. Maren Ade has come up with a gem that grabs you. Some may say is too long, but this carnival of the absurd oozes surreal humour.