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TONI ERDMANN

Austria, 2016 (MIFF 2016, International Panorama)

Director: Maren Ade

"Brilliantly funny and slyly crushing … this is the finest seesawing ode to fatherhood and filial affection ever to feature a fart cushion. This is Ozu sporting Groucho glasses." – The Playlist

Indisputably the critical smash at this year's Cannes, the third film from German writer/director Maren Ade (Everyone Else, MIFF 2009) is a dysfunctional father/daughter portrait quite unlike any other: equal parts screwball and sublime, it's the kind of breathless filmmaking that galvanises even the hardest of cynics.

Divorced, middle-aged music teacher Winfried decides to visit his stuffy, corporate daughter Ines, hoping to reconnect with her via his arsenal of eccentric practical jokes. To do so he turns himself into "Toni Erdmann" – his first name inspired by Ade's love for Andy Kaufman's alter ego, Tony Clifton – a self-styled "consultant and coach" complete with fright wig and fake teeth. What follows almost defies simple description, as father/daughter animosity reaches absurd heights and Ade's brilliantly executed masterpiece effortlessly builds to an emotional catharsis that left Cannes critics in rapturous delight – it's little wonder the film won the festival's FIPRESCI Prize.

"The charm and genius of this film is in what you don't see coming. It would be easy to pigeonhole this as just one of the greatest German film comedies, but it's more than that." – Sight and Sound


See also...

THE FOREST FOR THE TREES

"This tartly comic tale of teachers on the verge of a nervous breakdown is not only Maren Ade's marvellous first feature, it was her film school graduation piece. For a first film, it's accomplished; ... More »

EVERYONE ELSE

"Maren Ade's trenchant, funny and sensitive Everyone Else cuts deeper than an Oscar season's worth of emotional turmoil." – The Village Voice ... Young couple Gitti (Birgit Minichmayr) and Chris (Lars... More »

EVERYONE ELSE

“Brilliant dissection of a relationship and, more subtly, of class relations in contemporary Germany.” - Hollywood Reporter ... The second film from filmmaker Maren Ade (The Forest for the Trees), Eve... More »

THE INHERITORS

"Billed as an 'Alpine Western', The Inheritors is a smartly mounted ensemble drama about class conflict and oppression set in an Austrian farming village in the early 30s. Showing considerable command... More »

FUNNY GAMES

The first Austrian film to be invited to Cannes in 35 years, Michael Haneke's Funny Games caused an incredible reaction at initial screenings. Outraged journalists spread descriptions that evoked a mo... More »

IMPORT EXPORT

“A masterfully composed drama that explores themes of morality and mortality in a manner that's squalid, surprising and often transcendent.” - Eye Weekly ... Olga is a young nurse and mother living in... More »

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