Toni Erdmann (2016) Short Review

Director: Maren Ade
Writer: Maren Ade 
Stars: Sandra Hüller, Peter Simonischek, Michael Wittenborn

This movie is an 2017’s Oscars nominee for “Best Foreign Language Film of the Year”.

Erdmann is brilliant as a drama and painful as a comedy – even if it works very well, its unusual rhythm sets a very slow pace at times. While amazingly acted, I honestly felt lost in the narrative mid-film, but maybe it came from my own expectations from the genre (comedy/drama).

I can almost see two different movies in one because of the slightly different tones Ade manages to exhibit throughout the story. The cringe is real with Ines’ character, and the movie focuses a lot more on her than I also originally expected – which is a good thing since Sandra Hüller delivered an amazingly concise performance. Also, “Toni” seems to pick our wounds unknowingly as he tries really hard to be close to is unwilling daughter, whom very often came across to me as cruel. The characters all look very real.

toni-erdmann-movie-600x338This film is emotional, sincere, reflexive and weird. It’s weird because life is weird, and people sometimes do things we can’t understand.

The father-daughter relationship is strange and the characters’ growth is really strange, yet strangely touching. It’s worth the watch for the writer’s take on family relationships: how they are affected by this dog-eat-dog world and how often people forget what really is important and fleeting in life.

The Academy helped me uncover this strange tale of modernity and personal change. I’m thankful for that.


A sequence: the naked party



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