TONI ERDMANN Directed by Maren Ade Starring: Peter Simonischek, Sandra Huller, Michael Wintenborn, Thomas Loibl, Trystan Putter, Ingrid Bisu. Good evening. I’m only the father. Toni Erdmann Henneberg. Are you visiting? Henneberg Yes, a spontaneous decision. Never been to Romania. I’m actually here to negotiate with her. She’s hardly home anymore. So I hired a substitute daughter. Now comes the question who pays her. Toni Erdmann That’s a modern solution. Henneberg Exactly. Toni Erdmann Is the other daughter better? Henneberg The cakes are better. And er she cuts my toenails.
When Winfried (Peter Simonischek) does not see much of his daughter, he decides to surprise her with a visit after the death of his old dog. It’s an awkward move because Ines (Sandra Huller) is a serious career woman who 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. Even 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 Toni Erdmann, Winfried’s 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, and in all madness, Ines slowly begins to understand that her eccentric father might deserve a place in her life after all. The only way that Winfried can get through to his daughter is by inventing the character Toni Erdmann and using humour as a way of 4
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