Maren Ade's latest, most ambitious and successful work, TONI ERDMANN, that TrustMovies will keep his coverage relatively succinct. For those of us who were blown quietly away by Ms Ade's first full-length film, The Forest for the Trees, and then found ourselves even more impressed by her second one, Everyone Else, her new achievement will not be seen as all that surprising.
Ms Ade, shown at right with what will probably be the most talked about "costume" of the new millennium, has made a movie that many people are calling a comedy. Indeed, there are some wonderful, even amazing, laughs to be had during this long but increasingly meaningful and attention-grabbing film. Yet it takes perhaps a full hour before the comedy aspect of Toni Erdmann thoroughly sets in.
Sandra Hüller (above) as that corporate-striving daughter and Peter Simonischek (below, left) as her crazy-like-a-fox dad, whose bizarre methods have their own wonderful logic and lead finally to making this film one of the most joyous and surprising adventures in growth and change that you will have seen for... well, a very long while.
Sony Pictures Classics, in German with English subtitles and running two hours and 42 minutes -- will soon be seen around the entire country. Here in South Florida it opened last weekend at the Tower Theater, Miami, and will open this Friday, February 10, in Boca Raton at both the Living Room Theaters and the Regal Shadowood. To find the city and theater nearest you, simply click here and scroll down.
La La Land), I must admit to being a tad surprised that the film made it, not just to the Oscar shortlist, but to becoming an actual nominee for BFLF. I'd vote for it, for sure, but it seems to me to demand -- via its considerable length and unusual "indirection" (its genre-jumping tendencies) -- too much of the usual Academy voter, who might prefer a movie such as The Salesman, which I also loved and which is far easier to follow along with and understand.
A Man Called Ove has been included among the nominees points to the Academy's ever-continuing love of the feel-good and obvious. If Ove should win, it will set back the BFLF category by a good decade or more. I have not yet seen either Land of Mine or Tanna, so cannot comment on their worthiness -- except to say that, of late, the Academy seems to include a war-themed film (last year's A War) and an "indigenous/primitive people" movie (last year's Embrace of the Serpent), so, yes, they're doing it again this time.