Toni Erdmann may have left the Cannes Film Festival empty-handed, but it’s on course for a much larger prize. It’s already been selected as Germany’s entry in the Foreign Language Oscar race, taking the early lead thanks to its critically adored festival run. It will have to fight off a record 84 other entries, but at this point, not earning a nomination would be a shock.
On the surface, the nearly three hour long father-daughter dramedy isn’t an obvious contender. That length is exorbitant for a film whose main selling point is an aging father in fake teeth and a wig, but Toni Erdmann apparently peddles in a grounded sense of humor. A humorous look at familial relationships would certainly fill the time and cause the ardent connection critics are raving about, but that proves to be a hard dynamic to capture in its trailer.
Perhaps the best selling point for Erdmann is the passionate response from those who’ve seen it. The critical adoration has already been covered, but also of note is how the German people have embraced it. It’s one of the few countries where the film has already released, and its opening weekend drew the best per screen average of the year for a native film. If Erdmann can continue connecting to audiences like this, we may see a woman holding the Best Foreign Language trophy for only the fourth time.
Toni Erdmann is directed by Maren Ade and stars Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller. It will be released in the U.S. on December 25th, 2016 and in the U.K. on February 3rd, 2017. For international release dates, click here.
Do you think Erdmann can sustain its success abroad? Let us know in the comments!
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