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.
A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.
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
This is a great movie - but most likely not for everyone. It's about academic upper middle-class people and their family relationships. Not everybody will find that interesting and there is no usual "romantic" plot development. It's a family portrait of a father and her daughter and as such has no (plot) conclusion. It is not the usual light comedy since it touches very serious questions and the prevailing mood is unhappiness (it is however _very_ funny at times ;-)).
That being said, this movie makes some very fine and subtle observations, presents them in a funny and entertaining form yet at the same time in a thought-provoking and philosophical way which will make you think about it for a long time. If you're from an academic (german) household you will find lots of similarities in your own family relations.
This movie is not fast-paced - in fact it often has long shots of lonely people and a lot is not said but has to be filled in by the viewer. So if you don't relate to the characters this movie will feel longish for sure. But if you find traces of your own life or that of your friends and relatives you'll be amazed by the subtlety and finesse in which this movie is directed. Although there are some bizarre events, everything which happens in this movie could happen in real life. There are no implausible scenes in this movie! This is an incredible statement given the crazy and bizarre things which happen in this movie. If you wanna know how that could be true, you might wanna watch it.
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