TONI ERDMANN, the lauded German corporate daughter/prankster dad comedy (?) film by Maren Ade

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This is not my fave of 2016 thus far (topped several year-end group/individual lists), or even close to it, but it's entirely unpredictable and challenging. It's also 162 minutes long, and I think it has to be. The two central performances are excellent.

Real good interview with Ade below, but I would advise you to read after seeing. Her previous film, Everyone Else, might be better. Or not.

http://cinema-scope.com/festivals/battle-humour-maren-ade-toni-erdmann/

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 19:14 (five years ago) link

Features probably my favourite ever karaoke scene in a movie. Watched this over xmas and because of that it felt like a kind of neoliberal Christmas Carol - the daughter as some modern Scrooge gradually haunted into relinquishing her corporate self-discipline.

Stevie T, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 19:20 (five years ago) link

You were looking at me, weren't you

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 19:20 (five years ago) link

SPOILERS BEGIN

relinquishing her corporate self-discipline.

but as Ade points out above, we don't know that she does, and she doesn't abandon her career.

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 19:26 (five years ago) link

Agreed. Nothing really changes, per se, except for the additional accrued insanity that comes from being confronted with that fact.

ILXorcist 2: The Heretic (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 19:28 (five years ago) link

I think of it more as a primal-therapy fable; she knows change is needed, just has to ponder how much. (And re your L'boxed comments, Eric, nothing to do with "post-truth.")

Gratuitous dentures and nudity are seldom this funny.

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 19:34 (five years ago) link

Not sure she knows change is needed, or even possible. Am pretty sure he knows that his moment has passed, though.

ILXorcist 2: The Heretic (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 19:38 (five years ago) link

His moment of... impersonating life coaches? Goofing with the mailman?

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 19:42 (five years ago) link

I really need to give it another shot because I do think it has enough going for it that it deserves as much but after all the rapturous acclaim, I found this movie kind of a letdown. Humor-wise, I didn't find it all that funny beside those two scenes (Whitney and nudity), but that being said, those two scenes are the funniest scenes I've seen in movies in years.

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 19:56 (five years ago) link

Worst hair ever

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 19:56 (five years ago) link

i used to have a 'metal' wig roughly like his, i would wear it to our next meeting.

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 20:01 (five years ago) link

His cultural moment.

ILXorcist 2: The Heretic (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 20:11 (five years ago) link

Winfried's too.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 21:02 (five years ago) link

Well, in the sense that human individuals' cultural moment is over, yeah.

ILXorcist 2: The Heretic (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 21:40 (five years ago) link

How much do we learn about Dad's biographical backstory? (My memory's for shit.)

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 21:42 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Saw the trailer, seeing this next week. My initial reaction is to crtl+f = Curb Your Enthusiasm. Totally getting those vibes out of it - which might explain a review or two I've seen of this.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 19 January 2017 06:37 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I wish I loved all of this as much as I loved the Whitney moment.

devvvine, Thursday, 2 February 2017 23:10 (five years ago) link

Saw it again. Hüller's expressions and performance suggests she's not cut out for this line of work but will try to give a decent enough impersonation anyway. I'll admit that asking "why" (i.e. "Why does Ines allow Winfried to get away with this shit?") will get you nowhere, as many in my audience did; accept it as a fable.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 4 February 2017 13:58 (five years ago) link

Yeah otm, I think I'm gonna watch it again, definitely ruined the party scene for myself by asking 'why'.

devvvine, Saturday, 4 February 2017 14:11 (five years ago) link

Ines accepts it because all her colleagues accept it? When she brings her father to the ambassadors party, the ambassador is much more interested in his lousy jokes than he is in Ines. When he returns as Toni Erdmann, again people seem to accept this weirdo almost more than they accept each other. And the 'why' of this acceptance among the whole expatriate business community is the core of the film, imo.

Frederik B, Saturday, 4 February 2017 14:19 (five years ago) link

So a lot of this was classic Curb Your Enthusiasm type stuff as far as the humour goes. I wonder if Ade has been asked about whether she likes the show. TE is so well-written (takes risks, doesn't overstay the running time) and performed and it is funny (yeah a lot of variance here from viewer to viewer) despite the contrived nature of the scenes. The 'why' this or that happens doesn't have to do w/anything. What's underdiscussed perhaps is the drama, and here there are enough powerful scenes - the father-daughter conflict-as-game works.

There is also some gentle ribbing of that kind of corporate life. I like that it doesn't all lead to questions on life/what are we doing - its skirted around, no more. The ending - where she gets a job with Mckinsey (LOL) - suggests that nothing has changed but the very last frame suggests that it won't always be like this. Really well done.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 5 February 2017 15:23 (five years ago) link

Manterruption: The Movie.

Diana Fire (j.lu), Sunday, 5 February 2017 20:33 (five years ago) link

Did you really feel the corporate life stuff was "gentle ribbing?" My way into the movie was I understood explicitly as a rather savage but understated satire of modern corporate machinations/global capitalist workforce. ("Are you a human?" "You can have a nice life in Romania, really...") Buñuel via Iannucci maybe? Great, great movie - maybe the most potent/relevant to the 2016/17 political era.

Badmotorfinger Debate Club (MFB), Monday, 6 February 2017 07:00 (five years ago) link

Saw this in a packed house the other night, had a great time. Really appreciated how much it colored outside the lines, genre-wise, while leaving hints of the characters having complete lives outside the immediate story being told. Kept thinking how much would have been steamrollered out in a Hollywood comedy billed with the same basic premise, or even something like Big Fish (which I do like a lot, but is comparatively a really tidy and over-explained fable). In particular I liked how the two leads kept surprising me with more dimensions than I'd expected from the setup; life is messy and they don't undergo some total transformative change but they do go through *something*.

The big big comedy setpieces deliver 100% too, and pull off that great thing where what seems to be the main joke turns out to just be the thing that the next development shocks you by topping - as in the zipper-dress-doorbell-party-costume sequence, which brought down the house.

tales of a scorched-earth nothing (Doctor Casino), Monday, 6 February 2017 17:38 (five years ago) link

tbh my only problem was that some of the laughs passed me by. As a drama it did really hit me, the sadness was more overwhelming than any of the awkwardness.

devvvine, Monday, 6 February 2017 17:53 (five years ago) link

It really really nailed certain kinds of sad moments in all their ordinariness - early on, after his first visit when he's packing up to leave in her sad and lifeless apartment - felt very real to me.

tales of a scorched-earth nothing (Doctor Casino), Monday, 6 February 2017 17:58 (five years ago) link

I saw this last night. I'm not sure what to make of it as a whole, but I did laugh a lot, and it was full of beautiful individual moments. One shot that stuck with me is Ines's view of the activity in the courtyard below, as she's looking out from the conference room following her presentation.

jmm, Monday, 6 February 2017 18:11 (five years ago) link

xp Likewise, Ade really understands the existential sadness of an unmade sofa bed. The nightclub scenes where Ines just looks catatonically depressed were just brutal.

devvvine, Monday, 6 February 2017 18:14 (five years ago) link

and how awesome was it to hear 'Plainsong' over the credits!?

niels, Monday, 6 February 2017 21:49 (five years ago) link

reminded me of Marie Antoinette

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 6 February 2017 21:52 (five years ago) link

Did you really feel the corporate life stuff was "gentle ribbing?" My way into the movie was I understood explicitly as a rather savage but understated satire of modern corporate machinations/global capitalist workforce. ("Are you a human?" "You can have a nice life in Romania, really...") Buñuel via Iannucci maybe? Great, great movie - maybe the most potent/relevant to the 2016/17 political era.

― Badmotorfinger Debate Club (MFB), Monday, 6 February 2017 Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Well that stuff wasn't too on the nose compared to a few other corporate critiques, say - in TE there weren't huge arguments. It settled for a few rude asides. The Are you Human? was followed by an apology a bit later. Due to the running time issues and feelings felt gently worked over.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 6 February 2017 21:57 (five years ago) link

Before TE Huller was in Requiem, which is great and also shares an excellent clubbing scene.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requiem_%282006_film%29

xyzzzz__, Monday, 6 February 2017 21:59 (five years ago) link

Hüller was also in Amour Fou, which is the best film ever. Almost.

Frederik B, Monday, 6 February 2017 22:17 (five years ago) link

shit, that's right!

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 6 February 2017 22:28 (five years ago) link

well ok then (via the avclub)

Jack Nicholson hasn’t been in a new movie since 2010, but apparently he’s found the project that will bring him out of semi-retirement: According to Variety, he’s going to play the lead in a remake of Germany’s critically-acclaimed and Oscar-nominated Toni Erdmann. Nicholson will star as the false-teeth-loving father (played by Peter Simonischek in the original) who begins to infiltrate his consultant daughter’s life as the irreverent and bewigged Toni.

Though it seems likely that there will be some significant changes to the film—which in its current form is three hours long and contains full frontal nudity—the good news is that Nicholson is passionate about Maren Ade’s original film. Variety reports that he brought the concept to Paramount, given that he was such a “huge fan.” Ade will also have something of a role: She’ll serve as an executive producer. Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Jessica Elbaum are producing through their company Gloria Sanchez Productions, which aims to promote female voices.

Update: Variety now adds that Kristen Wiig has been cast as the no-nonsense daughter of Nicholson’s character.

nomar, Wednesday, 8 February 2017 02:00 (five years ago) link

uh

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 February 2017 02:03 (five years ago) link

"the false-teeth-loving father" must have been the appositive that Jack used in his pitch to Griffin Mill.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 February 2017 02:03 (five years ago) link

"the no-nonsense daughter"

jmm, Wednesday, 8 February 2017 02:04 (five years ago) link

If Adam McKay directs I think this could be interesting...

Badmotorfinger Debate Club (MFB), Wednesday, 8 February 2017 02:22 (five years ago) link

nooooooooooooooooooo

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 8 February 2017 02:34 (five years ago) link

Go back to retirement, Jack. Please.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 8 February 2017 03:46 (five years ago) link

Next up: Bryan Cranston in "I, Daniel Blake". Retitled "Daniel Blake" for the US markwt.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 8 February 2017 03:48 (five years ago) link

Wow this will be horrible. Thankfully it will flop and be forgotten immediately.

tales of a scorched-earth nothing (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 8 February 2017 03:54 (five years ago) link

otoh Jack still has good taste in ci-ne-mah

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 February 2017 11:28 (five years ago) link

liam gallagher IS casey affleck in 'manchester'

I Am In Atlanta And Thug Is Young (imago), Friday, 10 February 2017 02:23 (five years ago) link

anyway, this film was unlike anything ever seen, and completely amazing

I Am In Atlanta And Thug Is Young (imago), Friday, 10 February 2017 02:23 (five years ago) link

i loved how they slipped in and out of different languages mid-conversation- most of the movie takes place in Romania but we barely see any of it, besides the egg-painting/karaoke scene, the only real culture we see... all these sterile hotels, bars, ballrooms, conference rooms, modern apartments... disappointed middle aged women and their mentally adolescent male coworkers... the scene where Ines is with that wormy guy and she makes him jerk off onto a pastry, looking totally dead inside the whole time... and yeah, fwiw I thought of Nicholson watching this, but maybe because I saw the Shining the other day... good movie... didn't bowl me over, certainly didn't fly by, sorry it ain't no Curb... good nonetheless

flappy bird, Saturday, 11 February 2017 05:43 (five years ago) link

hope nicholsons heart attack happens before this remake can

wins, Sunday, 12 February 2017 19:16 (five years ago) link

plz be nice

and don't come on the petitfour

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 12 February 2017 19:40 (five years ago) link

my aim is true unlike that guy

wins, Sunday, 12 February 2017 19:42 (five years ago) link

sorry it ain't no Curb... good nonetheless

― flappy bird, Saturday, February 11, 2017 5:43 AM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yo I heard there are some film critic vacancies

I Am In Atlanta And Thug Is Young (imago), Sunday, 12 February 2017 21:29 (five years ago) link

My favourite film of 2016 and not a single minute is wasted in the nearly 3 hour running time. I love Ines' disintegration of her identity in the face of the corporate stronghold on her life. The nude party scene is key because she just wants to let go, but does not know how to navigate this. The scene reads as both an act of liberation and a "fuck it" moment. Love it.

Everything Moves Towards The Sun (Ross), Tuesday, 21 February 2017 22:17 (five years ago) link

eh i do like its uniqueness but i found this a lil wearying & not particularly funny; it is v well-done & i like a lot of the choices it makes as it progresses; it is also easy to imagine it remade, likely in lowest common denominator fashion but jack prob isnt unretiring just to cash in so idk maybe itd be decent

johnny crunch, Wednesday, 22 February 2017 01:33 (five years ago) link

eh i do like its uniqueness but i found this a lil wearying & not particularly funny;

Agree, although Maren Ade has said she doesn't think it's a comedy. I just found the whole set up not convincing, even in an absurdist sense. I wouldn't disagree with anyone who loved it, it just wasn't really for me.

Heavy Doors (jed_), Wednesday, 22 February 2017 02:33 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

loved many things but perhaps most the fact that when the big emotional hug moment happens not only can you not see Dad's face but he's dressed up as a ball of hair! also excellent; the boss *coming back* to the party after he'd had some Dutch courage.

and yeah Plainsong omg.

piscesx, Monday, 13 March 2017 21:07 (five years ago) link

Plainsong was the cherry on top

Well bissogled trotters (Michael B), Monday, 13 March 2017 21:52 (five years ago) link

two months pass...

Finally played somewhere near me and is probably my favourite film in many years. Hilariously funny when it needs to be and the story of a father who can't quite find a way to engage with his emotionally distant daughter hits home hard.

Mud... Jam... Failure... (aldo), Tuesday, 16 May 2017 11:01 (five years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Put me in the "I appreciate it, but I dunno if I actually like it" category, at least for now. One of the most frustrating viewing experiences I've had in a while, not because I was bored or unamused (I wasn't), but just because I never really felt like I could get a handle on it.

And while I get that there's a lot to digest here, I'm surprise no one itt mentioned the sex (?) scene.

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 16:34 (five years ago) link

Same, though I admit my contribution to the discussion would be "I can see why they cast that guy."

insidious assymetrical weapons (Eric H.), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 16:50 (five years ago) link

This is the most amazing book, btw, almost all of the costumes are mind blowing. http://www.charlesfreger.com/portfolio/wilder-mann/

http://www.charlesfreger.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/charles_freger_wilder_mann_2010-2011_0042_babugeri.jpg

Whooremeister (jed_), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 16:54 (five years ago) link

Put me in the "I appreciate it, but I dunno if I actually like it" category, at least for now. One of the most frustrating viewing experiences I've had in a while, not because I was bored or unamused (I wasn't), but just because I never really felt like I could get a handle on it.

And while I get that there's a lot to digest here, I'm surprise no one itt mentioned the sex (?) scene.

My response on first viewing. I was tantalized enough to give it a second viewing – and that's when I came away thinking it was a great film.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 16:59 (five years ago) link

Two days later, its already growing on me.

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Friday, 9 June 2017 20:24 (five years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Girls creators Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner are in talks to scribe the film, which follows, in broad strokes, about a father trying to reconnect with his daughter. We reported recently that Jack Nicholson is set to play the father, with Kristen Wiig as the daughter. Additionally, producers include Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, which definitely suggests the piece will take on a different tone than the original.

ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Friday, 30 June 2017 16:57 (five years ago) link

lol lol lol lol lol

blog haus aka the scene raver (wins), Friday, 30 June 2017 17:04 (five years ago) link

Just once would I like to be in talks to scribe something

blog haus aka the scene raver (wins), Friday, 30 June 2017 17:06 (five years ago) link

ahahahaha

imago, Friday, 30 June 2017 17:20 (five years ago) link

this is literally the perfect storm of an artistic travesty

imago, Friday, 30 June 2017 17:21 (five years ago) link

I'd be in a talk and it'd be like

"Will you scribe this"

"Depends, who's helming it"

blog haus aka the scene raver (wins), Friday, 30 June 2017 17:27 (five years ago) link

lol

imago, Friday, 30 June 2017 17:29 (five years ago) link

Bleurgh.

Meantimes, I recommended this to my parents and they loved it. Knew they would.

Fuck

flappy bird, Friday, 30 June 2017 18:15 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

i wish i had seen this in theaters; i imagine the nude party brings down the house every time.
languorous, never indulgent; i think i liked it a lot? sure knows how to set up a punchline.
i will be avoiding an american remake like i have avoided no other american remake since oldboy

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Thursday, 20 July 2017 03:48 (five years ago) link

Jack Nicholson though... I'll probably see it for him.

jmm, Thursday, 20 July 2017 04:00 (five years ago) link

ten months pass...

Thank Fucking God

flappy bird, Thursday, 24 May 2018 05:48 (four years ago) link

two months pass...

Saw a note on another forum that Nicholson has left the remake as well.

Ubering With The King (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 15 August 2018 20:43 (four years ago) link

I was skeptical of this happening

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 15 August 2018 20:53 (four years ago) link

Apparently there has already been a Netflix knockoff with the recent Like Father, starring Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer.

To me, a remake seems futile. Hollywood would inevitably smooth out or eliminate everything that made Toni so special, while keeping the story's unremarkable premise.

traurig, Sunday, 19 August 2018 14:01 (four years ago) link

agreed but to see Lena Dunham and Jack Nicholson doing it would've been incredible imo

flappy bird, Monday, 20 August 2018 06:28 (four years ago) link

They ought to collaborate on an original project.

traurig, Saturday, 1 September 2018 17:11 (four years ago) link

please no, wasn't Hackman making his last film w/ ray Romano enough for you?

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 1 September 2018 17:28 (four years ago) link

Honestly don't care about the remake, Nicholson & Dunham or not, but if Ade got some funds out of it for her next project then it's all good.

traurig, Saturday, 1 September 2018 18:30 (four years ago) link

four years pass...

Watched this tonight for the first time since seeing it on the big screen thanks to it appearing on a 'top X comedies' list I read online. Happy to say it has not only held up for me in the intervening years, it's funnier than I ever remember it being.

Hello I'm shitty gatsworth (aldo), Saturday, 19 November 2022 23:23 (one week ago) link

one of my favorite movies of the past 10 years

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Saturday, 19 November 2022 23:32 (one week ago) link

yes, I only saw it once when it came out, but it really stuck with me, and I'm looking forward to seeing it again - but only with the right people

Dan S, Monday, 21 November 2022 02:16 (one week ago) link

I think about this film at least once a week. I can't believe what it gets away with.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 21 November 2022 02:19 (one week ago) link

I remember liking it fine when it came out if not being quite as into it as everyone else, but I imagine upon a second viewing I could change my mind.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 21 November 2022 02:25 (one week ago) link

She also made The Forest for the Trees and Everyone Else, both amazing films

Dan S, Monday, 21 November 2022 02:30 (one week ago) link

and each progressively better than the last. hoping for another one from her

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Monday, 21 November 2022 03:10 (one week ago) link

I've seen this film and Everyone Else, and I may need to see them again at some point; I just read the plot summaries that were occasionally familiar but seemed emotionally remote from what I remembered of the actual experience of watching them.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 21 November 2022 03:18 (one week ago) link

I need to rewatch it, but I can say for sure I haven't laughed harder at anything in years than at the culminating scene at the end of the party.

Which is immediately followed by its most heart-tugging scene. The timing of the film's beats is perfect even though its rhythms are odd.

and then Plainsong

too good

corrs unplugged, Monday, 21 November 2022 09:09 (one week ago) link

"The Greatest Love of All" scene truly among the all-timers

ex-McKinsey wonk who looks like a human version of a rat (Eric H.), Monday, 21 November 2022 13:45 (one week ago) link

So damned relieved the American version never got made

ex-McKinsey wonk who looks like a human version of a rat (Eric H.), Monday, 21 November 2022 13:47 (one week ago) link

I feel like a lot of recent Euro comedies have been mean-spirited in a nihilstic, mansplainy kind of way, but this isn't like that at all, and I loved that.

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 21 November 2022 15:51 (one week ago) link

yes, imagine Ruben Östlund directing this thing.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 21 November 2022 15:53 (one week ago) link

The petit fours scene alone ...

ex-McKinsey wonk who looks like a human version of a rat (Eric H.), Monday, 21 November 2022 15:57 (one week ago) link


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