Toni Erdmann

Toni Erdmann ★★★★

Gotta make them laugh before you can make them cry.

There isn't enough hyperbole in the world to express how delightful this movie is. Now, at brisk 162 minutes, it's not delightful all way through, there are some lulls, so it's not delightful from start-to-finish but the lasting impression is one of pure joy and maybe a little sorrow, and its peaks are absolutely phenomenal.

"Real" and "comedy" often don't together all that well but I think two meet here. It's a rare comedy about the importance of never losing the humour, and for such a silly and absurd premise to ground itself and maintain that theme through 2.5 hours is fairly impressive too.

A lot of things makes this movie work but the two performances at the heart of it have to purr-fect for something like this to work at its best, and they absolutely are. One from a man with a silly wig and fake teeth who by cracking a wry smile can bring a house. The other from a woman who bares it all and then-some. Do the Oscars mean anything? Not really. Is it too early to talk about them? Probably. Is acting a competition? It shouldn't be. But is anyone seriously going to top Sandra Hüller this year? I highly doubt it.

This also contains arguably the most memorable use of Whitney Houston since The Bodyguard. I want to watch that scene over and over.

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