Affogato in Eastern Country – On “Toni Erdmann” by Maren Ade

Short-listed for an Oscar, Maren Ade`s bittersweet dramedy on father/daughter relationship is without any hesitation best film of the year. Though she had previously proven her work as producer with Miguel Gomes magnum opus trilogy The Arabian Nights: Vol.1 , 2, 3 and as  director with Alle Anderen, she transcends herself as the best female director of the world in this three-hour enchanting metaphor of declining old world named Toni Erdmann.

Ines (played dashingly by Sandra Hüller) a vicious business consultant and reluctant woman must spend time with her estranged father (the Grand Guignol moppy-head Peter Simonischek) when he comes for a surprise visit for her holiday. Toni`s odd manners and prank-prober habits forces herself to sent him back while still graying and bleeding. But he comes back in a persona, say a goofy alter ego, as Toni Erdmann, a consultant and life coach. From there she surprisingly manage to accompany Ines in her business meetings and eventually shows up in her melt-down point, in an old-fashioned German Freikörperkultur. Where he appears dressed up as an all-hairy gruesome ape-like monster, and see her team-building exercise – rather her life – so empty and unpopular.

You can either cry out your eyes or laugh your heart out in every scene, but one thing is for granted. After watching this masterpiece you are going to go through your deep and opponing feelings and think through your mood swings with an elephant in the room. Oddly enough, It seems pretty natural. you are “Toni Erdmanned.”

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