Thursday, 2 February 2017

Toni Erdmann (2016)


Comedy | Drama


Maren Ade




Sandra Hüller, Peter Simonischek, Ingrid Bisu, Lucy Russell, Michael Wittenborn, Thomas Loibl, Trystan Pütter, Hadewych Minis, Vlad Ivanov, Victoria Cocias


Practical joker Winfried (Peter Simonischek) creates a flashy alter ego, Toni Erdmann, as an attempt to reconnect with his hard working daughter (Sandra Hüller).


When a movie gets a nomination for Best Foreign Picture both at the Golden Globes and the Oscars, it surely grabs my attention. Also, I'm interested in German cinema, so I just couldn't miss "Toni Erdmann", a brilliant, thought-provoking dramedy that proves the world Germans can be fun.

With a very simple plot that is stretched into almost 3 hours but that doesn't bore a bit in spite of its slow pace, the film is a compelling portrayal of the relationship between an aging father and a daughter that feels nothing but pity towards him. I won't spoil the film for you, I'll just say that the way the story develops (and its unpredictable turns) are very interesting.  

Through that story director Maren Ade addresses the difficulty of communicating and compares two generations that fail to connect with each other. And it's the fault of both. On the one hand there's the serious daughter who only thinks about her job, on the other hand there's the practical joker father who often hides behind a joke and is often an embarrassment.

The father is also the reason why "Toni Erdmann" works so well. With his unconventional, at times stupid and overstretched jokes, and crazy pranks, the characters of Winfried and Toni Erdmann bring into the film a lot of hilarious situations, and will often have you laughing.

The film is as much a drama as a comedy. Maren Ade indeed manages to balance comedy and drama, delivering a film that not only is probably one of the funniest German movies ever made, but it's also a touching and serious film. 

Another good thing about the film is the acting especially from Sandra Hüller who wonderfully delivers the pain, sadness and insecurities of the daughter, and Peter Simonischek who manages to bring depth in both of his characters, the father and his alter ego.


  1. Great review! I hope i get to see this one before the Oscars, I love German films.

    1. Thanks! I hope you will. I was lucky to find a screening at a local theater and it wasn't even dubbed, which is really weird considering Italians dubs everything.

  2. Now, being of German descent, I have a hard time thinking of Germans as having humour:) I have seen their comedies when I would visit and just didn't get it (now seeing Bonanza in German was very funny). All kidding aside, this film sounds quite good and I would love to see it.

    1. I also have German origins and German friends too, and I know humour isn't their thing. That's why this film surprised me so much. And I loved it.