Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, this is a funny take-down of the work-a-holics, of those who live-to-work, seen through the lens of the father/daughter relationship flipped on its back.
Director Maren Ade takes on the gulf between parents and their adult kids; the conflict between work and family; the dehumanizing nature of the modern workplace; the role of women in corporate culture… but her very original approach makes us think while also making us laugh. Winfried, an untethered practical joker, likes to take little jabs at his daughter Ines’ arid lifestyle of long corporate meetings, hotel bars and performance reports. While she’s working on an important project as a corporate strategist in Bucharest, her father comes to annoy his daughter. When the two reach an impasse, Winfried’s smooth-talking alter ego “Toni Erdmann” appears. Disguised in a tacky suit, weird wig and even weirder fake teeth, Toni barges into Ines’ professional life, claiming to be her CEO’s life coach. As Toni, Winfried is outrageous, but Ines meets the challenge. The harder they push and push back, the closer they become. In all the madness, Ines begins to understand that her eccentric father might deserve some place in her life after all.
(USA / 2016 / Directed by Maren Ade)
R / 162 mins.