While both participating in a production of "Death of a Salesman," a teacher's wife is assaulted in her new home, which leaves him determined to find the perpetrator over his wife's traumatized objections.
Ove, an ill-tempered, isolated retiree who spends his days enforcing block association rules and visiting his wife's grave, has finally given up on life just as an unlikely friendship develops with his boisterous new neighbors.
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. Written by
Toni Erdmann starts slow and is in general a movie that takes its time. 162 minutes might suggest an overlong or very slow paced film, but in this 162 minutes we get a firework-like examination of a relationship between a father and a daughter. And yes, Toni Erdmann is a comedy. There are some moments that are so hilarious, that they gained applause mid film from the audience at my screening. But it is also a tragedy. A really complex one actually. There is so much loneliness in those characters, so much longing. Toni Erdmann is constantly entertaining, extremely well acted and emotionally compelling. A masterpiece of German cinema.
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