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The unlikely hit of this year’s Cannes Film Festival (and a huge critical favorite) was this long, sprawling comedy that Germany subsequently named as its official submission for Oscar consideration. The character Toni Erdmann appears well into the picture, because he is a pseudonym adopted by Winfried (Peter Simonischek), a retired music teacher and inveterate prankster flies to Bucharest to surprise his daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller), an uptight businesswoman, and to shake up her life a bit. Initially the bearlike Winfried/Toni comes off as an embarrassment, but his games and crazy-like-a-fox tricks eventually get to Ines, in a hilarious and ultimately moving exploration of the relationship between a father and his daughter. In German with English subtitles. Writer/Director: Maren Ade. (Germany/Austria 2016) 162 min.

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