In a Russian coastal town, Kolya is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man's arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
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.
Liège, Belgium. Sandra is a factory worker who discovers that her workmates have opted for a EUR1,000 bonus in exchange for her dismissal. She has only a weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses in order to keep her job.
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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