Toni Erdmann ★★★

Loved the party scene, which is legitimately mad and spontaneous, but none of the rest really clicked for me. The fact that Dad brings nothing, except a kind of stumbling humanity - he doesn't become an unlikely hero, like Chance the gardener - is poignant in retrospect, as if to say his daughter is stirred by how pathetic his deception is, but also makes those scenes a bit of a slog, and there's also a slightly maudlin undertow insofar as he's a clown who's crying (or yearning for connection) on the inside. Didn't like the actor much, either, unlike Huller who gives a magnificent performance, not just uptight but bringing out the dynamic energy masochistically chafing against the demands of an inhuman, often sexist system (it's also a system based on deception - tricking the client - just like Toni Erdmann); though her voice is simply too good for That Scene to work as more than a crowd-pleasing explosion.

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