TIFF16: Toni Erdmann

A corporate constant has to deal with the prankish behaviour of her father in Toni Erdmann. Winfried (Peter Simonischek) is a retired piano teacher in Germany, who delights in playing pranks on people. However, he has a bit of a distant relationship with his daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller), who is a high-ranking management consultant in Bucharest. Winfried spontaneously makes the decision to visit Ines in Bucharest and under the clownish alterego of “Toni Erdmann” ends up inserting himself into Ines’ important business decisions.

Toni Erdmann is a dramedy about a father/daughter relationship that is rocky at best. Ines has very little patience for her father’s buffoonery, especially as some important business decisions to make involving an outsourcing deal. However, it turns out that sometime life is a little better if you don’t forget the humour of it all.

At a 162 minute running time, Toni Erdmann is in no rush to develop the love/hate relationship Ines has with her father. In fact, in can probably be argued that the most entertaining moments in the film don’t arrive until the final 45 minutes, which includes a showstopping Whitney Houston number and one of the most insane birthday parties seen on screen. Overall, Toni Erdmann is a quite enjoyable film.

8 / 10 stars


  • Friday, September 9. 12:15 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).