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At its best it touches on existentialism, but mostly it's an overlong, cleverly controlled, intelligent, slightly depressing, mildly funny farce, using not especially likeable characters and themes to comment on society without offering much hope or optimism.
By turns mad, moving and downright awkward, this is brilliantly played by the two leads, and tells a timeless story of how we all lose our childish sides, for better or worse, but we never lose the love for those close to us.
I had wondered why there was such a gap between the averages of the critics and the audience scores, but after viewing the movie, I can understand why some would find the story both bizarre and, at times, tedious. But the fact is, if you have patience and an open mind, you'll find the eccentricities and over-the-top antics simply hilarious. Though the rating warns you about nudity, I can assure you the one chapter that presents it is nothing short of hilarious. Again, you simply have to roll with the director's plan. I have to admit that when the actress sang the Whitney Houston classic, it was both surprisingly well done and, well, funny. If you accept it for what it is, you'll be thinking it about it long after the credits close. You can't help it !
As Faces de Toni Erdmann (2016) #MovieReview 3,5 â?ï¸? Filha workaholic recebe visita de pai com senso de humor peculiar, passando-se por embaixador, coach entre outros papÃ (C)is. Um pouco longo demais, mas nÃ£o se pode dizer que os alemÃ£es nÃ£o tem humor.
special movie about parent -child relation (the shame children can feel About their parents) and the hectic life of a carreer women
While I didnâ(TM)t think this film was all that funny, and found the main character more maddening than anything else, it was thought-provoking, realistic, and always interesting. A father desperately wants to stay in his adult daughterâ(TM)s life, resorting to absurdity, corny jokes, and outright intrusion to do so (e.g. hiding in her bedroom closet, showing up at her workplace, meeting her friends, etc). He assumes an alter ego with a set of false teeth and a wig and pushes the limits for what lies he can get away with, but itâ(TM)s never in a mean-spirited way, and itâ(TM)s as if heâ(TM)s trying to stay relevant in a world that has passed his simple ways by.
The movie gives us a pretty pessimistic view of finding a work/life balance in the two extremes it shows us; the father (Peter Simonischek) has little ambition and is a bit of an oaf, and the daughter (Sandra HÃ 1/4ller) works in the soul-numbing capacity of devising corporate strategies to outsource work overseas. The best parts of the film for me were in the depiction of corporate life â" the politics, the â~big presentationâ(TM), the schmoozing, and the clear stratification of those in this world (and at the top of this world) with common people. In one fantastic moment HÃ 1/4ller looks out of a high-rise office window and down at people living in poverty. In another, when commenting on having to take an executiveâ(TM)s wife out shopping in order to be on his good side, she quips âItâ(TM)s Europeâ(TM)s largest mall and no one has money to buy anything.â? The scene where father and daughter visit workers in the country and he inadvertently gets one fired is also powerful. How disheartening is it to hear her reaction: âThatâ(TM)s up to him; the more he fires, the fewer I have to fire.â? We contrast this with the kindness and dignity shown by these people, inviting him into their home when he needs to use the bathroom, and giving him a sack of apples.
The film seems to be putting two things side by side â" how the innocent moments of childhood slip away in oneâ(TM)s life, and also, in a larger sense, how weâ(TM)ve let something else slip away â" our humanity.
Unfortunately, it gives us a seriously disgusting sex scene in a hotel room involving petit fours that frankly I wish I could un-see. It probably has a point on top of the shock value, something along the lines of how tawdry and non-erotic an affair may be, or how we see her dominate others after having to be submissive to superiors at work, passing along the dehumanization â" but I wish this scene would have been excised. On the other hand, I suppose in moments like this, HÃ 1/4ller belting out Whitney Houstonâ(TM)s âGreatest Love of Allâ? in front of a houseful of strangers, and her impromptu â~naked partyâ(TM) with co-workers, the film keeps us engaged by not having any idea whatâ(TM)s going to happen next. There is an absurdity to it all, and maybe the fatherâ(TM)s advice âDonâ(TM)t lose humorâ? â" donâ(TM)t take things too seriously - is the best coping strategy to life, which is too short and often depressing.
Another beautiful scene in the film comes at the end, when the father explains how fleeting moments from her childhood float up into his mind, and how he wishes those moments could be held on to somehow â" and yet, despite that realization, misses a moment in the present by going off to search for a camera in the attempt to capture it. Itâ(TM)s pitch perfect.
Finally a long movie that deserve its length, and not just because the director could play at "let's being artsy". I found this film very beautiful and powerful. It portray the relationship between a father and a daughter in a way that is both absurd and realistic at the same time. At every corner you will crash against questions about right and wrong, morality, life... but do not worry, just like life itself, you will not be given any answers. Just a reminder that nothing is black or white. 4 full stars almost touching the 4 and 1/2.
It is a movie about a stalker, who happen to be the father of the victim, and how apparently love can justify that kind of behavior. The message is that women at the end love their stalkers. Not funny.
Family is one of the few things we do not choose in life. We can change jobs, we can move to another country. But family is the one thing we cannot get rid off. No matter how hard we try.
The talented Maren Ade masterfully delivers an emotional story while criticising the corporate world in Europe and the ruthless German approach to 'assist' countries much less favoured economically, such as Romania. But I am not into politics myself. As a European, I've had enough of that.
Watching Toni Erdmann took me back to a few months ago when my father came to stay with us. To me, he was relentless, embarrassing and short-sighted. I could see myself in Ines. I could feel her struggle as she deals with her father. The constant façade that she builds to prove that she can do better.
Her father's transformation, an invasion of privacy at first, slowly becomes a fierce fight to recover his daughter by taking over a new persona. Toni and Ines' story is a plea for coming clean, to reconnect with our family despite our differences. Toni Erdmann is much more than a film made for entertainment sake. I laughed, I cried and it made me think. And that is as much as you can ask for.
Maren Ade is a resourceful writer, director and producer. She founded the production company Komplizen Film with producer Janine Jackowski. In 2015, Komplizen Film was honoured with the Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in German Film by the DEFA Foundation.
- The absurd Toni Erdmann is perfectly unusual. -
Love em or hate em, you can't choose your family. And you can't turn them away when they turn up unannounced and start grating cheese in their hair at your work functions.
There were several moments in Toni Erdmann where I was the only one guffawing in the movie theater. It isn't a comedy for everyone. The jokes aren't served on a silver platter. But the characters are refreshingly odd, the situations are awkward as hell, and the plot is highly unpredictable to say the least.
We all know those people in life that we label "workaholics". They live to work instead of work to live. I've actually been a little bit guilty of this at points in my life. But usually, it's because I've left everything to the last minute and I put my life on hold to get past the deadline. In doing so I always have FOMO (fear of missing out).
In Toni Erdmann, the main character Ines played by Sandra Hüller (Requiem, Lose My Self) is working, it seems, to avoid having a life. Her father, Winfried, played by Peter Simonischek (Oktober November, Gebütig) on the other hand, has made it his mission to provoke people to question their situations, by being a practical jokester.
Ines returns home to visit her family but spends all of her time on the phone preoccupied with work. One evening her father enters a family gathering with his face painted as a ghoul; he has come straight from work as a music teacher performing in a school show. It's clear Ines and her father have grown apart, and neither of them understands each other anymore. From his perspective, his daughter is a stressed out unhappy workaholic, from hers, her father is an out-of-touch clown.
When Winfried's dog dies the night after the gathering, he decides to surprise visit his daughter in Romania and spend some quality time with her. Unsurprisingly, she is less than happy to see him.
"How long are you staying for?" she asks. "I took a month off." He says. She looks blank with shock. "Now that's real fear!" he says. But is he joking?
He leaves a few days later to his daughter's relief. But then suddenly, he's back, as his alter ego "Toni Erdmann" (complete with business cards, a thick black head of hair and crooked false teeth.) Winfried's a clown, but not a very good one. Half of his jokes fall flat or just made me embarrassed for him.
When he turns up at the bar Ines is at with friends, she's forced to play along with the masquerade. He then works his way into her workplace as a 'life coach' and accompanies her during her day to day work.
I kept waiting for either Ines to crack and relax, or Winfried to give up and leave her to her uptight businessy existence. There was a moment where I finally thought "Oh, she is human after all, she does know how to have fun" when she meets a lover in a hotel room. But then she just instructs him to masturbate and jizz onto a petit four. Which she then eats. (Cos' ain't that everyone's fantasy?) At which stage the movie gets more and more interesting / bizarre.
Toni Erdmann is ultimately a film about an adult father-daughter relationship. It's about examining one's place and purpose in life through comic intervention. It's about still needing a father even though you're grown up and have found your independence.
I really began to care for its beautifully detailed characters as they continually rub each other the wrong way, resulting in terribly anxious scenes. I had to watch these through my fingers as they covered my face.
I couldn't help thinking while watching, what if my dad did that? How would I react?
There are so many absurd moments in Toni Erdmann. At times it feels like a desaturated, depressed version of a Michel Gondry fantasy. The third act plays out like some sort hallucinatory dream sequence involving folk beasts, a lot of non-sexual nudity and public singing. I loved it.
This review was first published on Narrative Muse, http://narrativemuse.co/movies/toni-erdmann, and was written by Casey Cowan. Narrative Muse curates the best books and movies by and about women and non-binary folk on our website http://narrativemuse.co and our social media channels.