Toni Erdmann

“Screw work, karaoke starts <i>now</i>.”

“Screw work, karaoke starts now.”

Rated 4.0

She has only made three films in 15 years, but after 2009’s Everyone Else and this nearly indescribable gem, it’s clear that no one is making films quite like German director Maren Ade. Peter Simonischeck stars as Winfried, the incorrigible-doesn’t-even-begin-to-describe-it father to the comparatively uptight Ines (Sandra Hüller), a businesswoman who seems to barely tolerate her father’s grating hijinks, even as she realizes they’ve molded her into a closet outrageous imp. When Winfried can’t seem to catch his daughter’s attention, he arrives unannounced for an uncomfortably extended visit, eventually “transforming” into a shabby-looking tycoon named Toni Erdmann in order to teach her a lesson. With its surprisingly swift 162-minute run time, Toni Erdmann is so loaded with show-stopping sequences and contradictory tones that it’s hard to know where to start, but I doubt anyone will ever listen to “The Greatest Love of All” again without thinking of this film. D.B.