When Winfried (Peter Simonischek), a retired piano teacher and divorcee who delights in persistent pranks, pays a surprise visit to his estranged daughter Ines (Sundra Hüller), a high-ranking management consultant in Bucharest, the cringe-inducing clash of opposites that takes place that weekend would be enough to fill a conventional comedy. But “Toni Erdmann” is just getting started—and Ines is game to meet the challenge. In the hands of director Maren Ade (EVERYONE ELSE), a potentially typical tale of redemption becomes something wholly original and affecting. Taking its time in drawing the captivated viewer ever closer to its fully conceived characters, TONI ERDMANN wholly earns the reputation that precedes it as one of the most talked-about films on the major festival circuit this year.
“A slow-burning thing of beauty, ultimately as moving as it is implausibly funny…[a] blend of subtle social observation, bawdiness and absurdity.” —Leslie Falperin, Hollywood Reporter
“Ade and her actors attain a cleansing yet conflicted sense of emotional release through a series of wild, nervily sustained comedic set pieces that lay the characters bare… Like all great humanist filmmaking, [it] keeps an eye out for life at the edges, even when the lives in focus consume a whole lot of energy.” —Guy Lodge, Variety
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