Monday , January 18 2021

"Toni Erdmann", a confusing comedy about his father and daughter



"Toni Erdmann", Monday, November 12 at 8:55 pm in Arte.

In a small German city, Winfried (Peter Simonischek), a five-year-old gray-haired professor, awaits the end of his career between the old dog and his mother who set up in old age. This divorced, now confit in the state of the hardened bachelor, deceives boredom from the jokes of the child. One day he meets Inès's daughter (Sandra Hüller), who makes a short pass before returning to Romania where he holds a demanding position as a consultant for a large business consultancy firm. Having deprived her dog company, Winfried decides to join her.

Strong time of social criticism

Indeed, discreet, hasty, jealous of what she thinks her freedom, the girl resorts to this overwhelming father at home and imagines him to send him back to the airport again. Here he goes and returns, mixing with his colleagues and friends under fanciful identities, playing the luxurious coach for the managing director and even the ambassador. With his dentures and an improbable wig, he appears in the air with the name Toni Erdmann …

The success of the film lies in the fragile alchemy, almost miraculous, in a crazy humor where the sensitive and unreasonable shoulders rub, but also in the deep questions that appear, not without moderation, under the exchanges of the father and the girl. The familiar year in the context of social criticism, Toni Erdmann (International Critics Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016), directed by the young German director Maren Ade, is a very coherent film, despite its immense tone, fantasies, sometimes its excesses. A "total" work capable of provoking transmissible mischief, diving into a bittersweet poetry and turning the heart with simple questions neglected by our permanent emergency societies. We are not close to forgetting these two great characters with so much modern vulnerability.

And during this time, life continues

Arnaud Schwartz


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