Winfried doesn’t see much of his working daughter Ines. The suddenly student-less music teacher decides to surprise her with a visit after the death of his old dog. It’s an awkward move because serious career woman Ines is working on an important project as a corporate strategist in Bucharest. The geographical change doesn’t help the two to see more eye to eye. Practical joker Winfried loves to annoy his daughter with corny pranks. What’s worse are his little jabs at her routine lifestyle of long meetings, hotel bars and performance reports. Father and daughter reach an impasse, and Winfried agrees to return home to Germany. Enter flashy “Toni Erdmann”: Winfried’s smooth-talking alter ego. Disguised in a tacky suit, weird wig and even weirder fake teeth, Toni barges into Ines’ professional life, claiming to be her CEO’s life coach. As Toni, Winfried is bolder and doesn’t hold back, but Ines meets the challenge. The harder they push, the closer they become. In all the madness, Ines begins to understand that her eccentric father might deserve some place in her life after all. — Sony Pictures Classics
“If a single movie were enough to silence reports of the death of cinema, it would be this one, an almost-three-hour German comedy set mostly in Bucharest. It you think that sounds preposterous, you’re not wrong. I hesitate to offer further description, since any attempt to characterize this film in conventional terms — as a father-daughter story, a feminist satire of corporate behavior, a fable of global capitalism, an extended practical joke — would be woefully insufficient. It’s something new under the sun, a thrilling and discomfiting document of the present moment and also, like every movie that matters, a bulletin from the future.” — A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Closed captioning available.