We’re still months away from it’s expected stateside release at the tail-end of the year but German feature Toni Erdmann is already one of the most critically admired movies of 2016. Maren’s Ade’s comedy premiered in-competition at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, where critics were instantly smitten. The film didn’t come away with any prizes at Cannes under director George Miller’s jury, however Toni Erdmann appears to be getting the last laugh. Last week, the film was named Best Film of the year by the FIPRESCI international critics group and was the only 2016 title to land on the BBC’s recent poll of the 100 Best Movies of 21st Century. Now, Germany has selected the title as their official Oscar submission for the best foreign-language film category.
On stature and critical praise alone, it may in the end become the frontrunner. The movie tells the story of a prickly father-daughter relationship – Winifred (Peter Simonischek) is a music teacher whose daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller), a worldly career woman. Their relationship is tested as Winifred makes an attempt to become closer to his daughter – much involving the employment of pranks and tricks. The surprise perhaps is that the duo may become closer in the end the more they clash with one another. The film also runs 162 minutes long, so this may be a rather slow discovery.
Toni Erdmann was selected as Germany’s Oscar submission by an independent jury of nine panelists – the comedy Look Who’s Back was reportedly also in consideration. Sony Pictures Classics acquired the title at Cannes and is planning a late-December release for the title – in similar fashion as the distributor did last year on eventual Oscar winner Son of Saul. In the meantime, Toni Erdmann will continue to play the festival circuit; the movie has already lined up visits to the upcoming Toronto Film Festival and New York Film Festival, with next weekend’s Telluride Film Festival also a likely pit stop.
Check out the trailer below.