Cannes 2016 – Competition
Winfried doesn’t see much of his working daughter Ines. He pays her a surprise visit in Bucharest, where she’s busy as a corporate strategist. The geographical change doesn’t help them to see more eye to eye. Practical joker Winfried annoys his daughter with corny pranks and jabs at her routine lifestyle of meetings and paperwork. Father and daughter reach an impasse, and Winfried agrees to go home to Germany. Enter Toni Erdmann: Winfried’s flashy alter ego. Disguised in a tacky suit, weird wig and fake teeth, Toni barges into Ines’ work circle, claiming to be her CEO’s life coach. As Toni, Winfried doesn’t hold back, and Ines meets the challenge. The harder they push, the closer they become. In all the madness, Ines begins to see that her eccentric father deserves a place in her life.
From the director of the award-winning EVERYONE ELSE (Berlin – Silver Bear & Best Actress) and THE FOREST FOR THE TREES (Sundance – Special Jury Award).
A work of great beauty, great feeling and great cinema.
— Manohla Dargis, NEW YORK TIMES
Maren Ade's unique study of an estranged but mutually depressive father and daughter is a humane, hilarious triumph... stunningly singular third feature by German writer-director Maren Ade that transports the intricately magnified human observation of her previous work to a rich, unexpected comic realm... The film takes precisely as much time as it needs for its muddled, maddeningly human characters, played with extraordinary courage and invention by Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller, to find their way into each other, and so into themselves...
— Guy Lodge, VARIETY
There’s a bliss-out moment in “Toni Erdmann,” the marvelous new father-daughter reconciliation comedy from German director Maren Ade, and what makes the scene so unique and bracing is that it’s not an out-of-nowhere distraction so much as a brilliantly unexpected culmination of about two hours' worth of hilarious and anguished emotional probing... “Toni Erdmann” meanders beautifully. It runs 162 minutes and earns at least 157 of them... The feelings that Maren Ade’s work inspires are no more limited to the realm of shared personal circumstance than they are beholden to standard distinctions between drama and comedy. Her fearless emotionalism is as nimble as her command of the camera, and every bit as expansive.
— Justin Chang, LOS ANGELES TIMES
The best 162-minute German comedy you'll ever see... Maren Ade’s third feature film as a director unravels the knots that tie together Peter Simonischek's prankster father and Sandra Huller as his careerwoman daughter... Ade plays an especially adept game herself as she manipulates, aided and abetted by intricately layered performances from Simonischek and Huller, audience sympathy for these at-first irritating, perhaps even hugely unlikable characters who grow soft sides and sweet spots over the course of the film...
— Leslie Felperin, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Surprising, awkward, refreshing and, at times, downright hilarious... that rarest of things: a nearly three-hour-long German-Austrian arthouse comedy-drama that (almost) never drags. Eliciting laughs and applause – in all the right places... This is a film where you literally have no idea what is going to happen next...
— Lee Marshall, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL
Comedy can sometimes be the only route to honesty, and it’s often the instrument that softens sharp truths. In Toni Erdmann, the latest from Maren Ade, humor of all sorts – broad, satirical and witty – is the foundation of the director’s humanist vision. This is the best film to premiere in competition so far at Cannes and one of the best comedies, if not the best, of the decade so far... At the film’s press screening in Cannes, the audience was perplexed: laughing, cheering, applauding and crying — all at once. Toni Erdmann not only justifies every minute – every second, even – of its nearly three hour run-time, but it needs the extra space to function... Toni Erdmann understands the nature of comedy and is so much more than its familiar premise. Broad humor and delicate sentimentality is the means to reaching transcendence...
— Josh Cabrita, WEGOTTHISCOVERED.COM