Archive of films Toni Erdmann / Toni Erdmann
Germany / Austria
2016, 162 min
“I thought I was shooting a drama, but they’re selling it as a comedy,” states the director, commenting on the surprising success of her film with both critics and audiences. The story of the bizarre attempts of a father to reconnect with his daughter was even applauded during the screening itself but the jury remained indifferent.
When Winfried, an aging music teacher, is abandoned by his last pupil and his dog Willi pops his clogs, he finds he no longer has any commitments in Germany and decides to head off to Bucharest, his plan being to surprise his daughter Ines who works for an international consultancy firm. The question he puts – “Are you happy?” – initiates a chain of comic and mortifying situations that the father uses to chip away at his daughter’s self-confidence. She believes that one’s private life shouldn’t get in the way of one’s career, but how will that conviction pan out if dad, famed for his absurd sense of humour, continues to don tacky suits, alarming wigs and, last but not least, false teeth? Although the unpredictable way in which Winfried, in the fictional role of Toni Erdmann, crashes Ines’s world lends comic elements to the film, it doesn’t detract from the drama of a father’s attempt to reconnect with his daughter after conflicts in the past. The success of this film by the as yet little known director is due in large part to the two leads, Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller.
About the director
Maren Ade (b. 1976, Karlsruhe, Germany) studied production and communications from 1998 and later direction at the University of Television and Film Munich. In 2001 she founded the production company Komplizen Film with Janine Jackowski, which oversaw the making of her graduate feature The Forest for the Trees (2003), awarded a Special Jury Prize at Sundance in 2005. As producer she worked on the successful Hotel Very Welcome (2006 – Variety Critics’ Choice at KVIFF 2007) by Sonja Heiss. She not only directed, but also wrote and produced her second feature Everyone Else (2009 – KVIFF, Horizons), which won Berlin’s Silver Bear – Jury Grand Prix ex aequo, plus a Silver Bear for Birgit Minichmayr as Best Actress. Her third film Toni Erdmann competed in the main competition at Cannes this year and took away the FIPRESCI Prize.
About the film
|Dir. of Photography:||Patrick Orth|
|Art Director:||Silke Fischer|
|Producer:||Marlen Ade, Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski|
|Coproduction:||coop99, knm, Missing Link Films, SWR, WDR, ARTE|
|Cast:||Peter Simonischek, Sandra Hüller|
|Sales:||The Match Factory|
|Distributor:||Film Europe s.r.o.|