I travelled quite a distance to see "Toni Erdmann" because I had heard that it was heavily favored to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. And I must say, while it is definitely good, I don't think that it was quite amazing.
The film is thoroughly interesting and funny, but I thought that it felt a bit too episodic for my tastes. In fact, the middle part is somewhat forgettable. I remember very few details about that part of the film. All of the memorable character development and all of the funniest parts of the film are all in its first and final acts. Although it was never boring, about a third of the way through the movie, there is a sequence that drew me out of the film a bit, and it took about another hour for me to be fully drawn back in. Ultimately, even though it didn't feel overlong in terms of pace, I think that the film could have done without the middle act. I also thought that the film took a long time to get its message across, and it wasn't particularly clear once it was revealed.
The execution of the film was good. The cinematography wasn't particularly flashy, with extensive use of handheld camera shots, but I think that this was beneficial, giving the film a more natural feel. The cinematography in the sexual scenes is also artistic, prioritizing character development over titillation. The acting is also very good, with both main actors delivering emotional and funny performances.
Overall, I liked "Toni Erdmann", and it is well-made, but I don't think that it is good enough to deserve the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Still, with the way in which the system is set up, the ones that were most deserving didn't make the cut.
Big Tuna's Rating: B
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Probably.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.