Monday, May 29, 2017

Toni Erdmann (2016)

On paper this sounds like a film that would fill multiplexes. It also sounds like something we've seen a million times before: Joker parent needs to learn that not everything is a joke, serious child needs to loosen up, everyone learns and grows. As I was watching it, I kept imagining these same scenes being played out with bright lighting and crisp lines and the mere thought made me cringe. It's the makings of an Adam Sandler for Netflix film. Fortunately this movie is not shot that way. 

Director Maren Ade's choice to place this generically farcical story in a very believable world helps to expose just  how generic and farcical our world actually is. Especially the world of business! If you are hoping to climb the corporate ladder, there's practically no end to the ways in which you will debase yourself for advancement. You'll also let a whole lot slide in order to not be seen as difficult. Go along to get along. The world of this film is not a fiction. We are living in it. Donald Trump is President.

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