(K. Brent Tomer),
This article contains plot details of “Toni Erdmann”
SHE is a master of the socially painful and the uncomfortably hilarious. Maren Ade’s first feature film, “The Forest For The Trees” (2003), chronicled the social and professional humiliations of a young teacher in a new town; the German word fremdschämen (meaning a deep embarrassment on behalf of someone else) might as well have been invented to describe the audience’s reaction. “Everyone Else” (2009), which won a Silver Bear at the Berlinale that year, had a young couple stumbling over the mismatch between a commitment to modern gender roles and a secret envy of those leading more traditional lives. Her unflinching attitude to embarrassment makes her work stand out in the world of German independent cinema, which can veer towards the overly inward or the boorishly moralising.
Her latest feature, “Toni Erdmann”, continues to explore the routine humiliations of modern life; audience members were left in tears at its world premiere in Cannes earlier this year. Its premise is fairly conventional: a hippyish father tries to reconnect with his…Continue reading